Submit Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Rudyard Kipling Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Rudyard Kipling poems. This is a select list of the best famous Rudyard Kipling poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Rudyard Kipling poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Rudyard Kipling poems.

Search for the best famous Rudyard Kipling poems, articles about Rudyard Kipling poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Rudyard Kipling poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See Also:
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

If

If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too: 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
Or being hated don't give way to hating, 
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; 

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim, 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

A Song of Travel

 Where's the lamp that Hero lit
 Once to call Leander home?
Equal Time hath shovelled it
 'Neath the wrack of Greece and Rome.
Neither wait we any more That worn sail which Argo bore.
Dust and dust of ashes close All the Vestal Virgin's care; And the oldest altar shows But an older darkness there.
Age-encamped Oblivion Tenteth every light that shone.
Yet shall we, for Suns that die, Wall our wanderings from desire? Or, because the Moon is high, Scorn to use a nearer fire? Lest some envious Pharaoh stir, Make our lives our sepulcher? Nay! Though Time with petty Fate Prison us and Emperors, By our Arts do we create That which Time himself devours-- Such machines as well may run 'Gainst the Horses of the Sun.
When we would a new abode, Space, our tyrant King no more, Lays the long lance of the road At our feet and flees before, Breathless, ere we overwhelm, To submit a further realm!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Land

 When Julius Fabricius, Sub-Prefect of the Weald,
In the days of Diocletian owned our Lower River-field,
He called to him Hobdenius-a Briton of the Clay,
Saying: "What about that River-piece for layin'' in to hay?"

And the aged Hobden answered: "I remember as a lad
My father told your father that she wanted dreenin' bad.
An' the more that you neeglect her the less you'll get her clean.
Have it jest as you've a mind to, but, if I was you, I'd dreen.
" So they drained it long and crossways in the lavish Roman style-- Still we find among the river-drift their flakes of ancient tile, And in drouthy middle August, when the bones of meadows show, We can trace the lines they followed sixteen hundred years ago.
Then Julius Fabricius died as even Prefects do, And after certain centuries, Imperial Rome died too.
Then did robbers enter Britain from across the Northern main And our Lower River-field was won by Ogier the Dane.
Well could Ogier work his war-boat --well could Ogier wield his brand-- Much he knew of foaming waters--not so much of farming land.
So he called to him a Hobden of the old unaltered blood, Saying: "What about that River-piece; she doesn't look no good?" And that aged Hobden answered "'Tain't for me not interfere.
But I've known that bit o' meadow now for five and fifty year.
Have it jest as you've a mind to, but I've proved it time on ' time, If you want to change her nature you have got to give her lime!" Ogier sent his wains to Lewes, twenty hours' solemn walk, And drew back great abundance of the cool, grey, healing chalk.
And old Hobden spread it broadcast, never heeding what was in't.
-- Which is why in cleaning ditches, now and then we find a flint.
Ogier died.
His sons grew English-Anglo-Saxon was their name-- Till out of blossomed Normandy another pirate came; For Duke William conquered England and divided with his men, And our Lower River-field he gave to William of Warenne.
But the Brook (you know her habit) rose one rainy autumn night And tore down sodden flitches of the bank to left and right.
So, said William to his Bailiff as they rode their dripping rounds: "Hob, what about that River-bit--the Brook's got up no bounds? " And that aged Hobden answered: "'Tain't my business to advise, But ye might ha' known 'twould happen from the way the valley lies.
Where ye can't hold back the water you must try and save the sile.
Hev it jest as you've a mind to, but, if I was you, I'd spile!" They spiled along the water-course with trunks of willow-trees, And planks of elms behind 'em and immortal oaken knees.
And when the spates of Autumn whirl the gravel-beds away You can see their faithful fragments, iron-hard in iron clay.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Georgii Quinti Anno Sexto, I, who own the River-field, Am fortified with title-deeds, attested, signed and sealed, Guaranteeing me, my assigns, my executors and heirs All sorts of powers and profits which-are neither mine nor theirs, I have rights of chase and warren, as my dignity requires.
I can fish-but Hobden tickles--I can shoot--but Hobden wires.
I repair, but he reopens, certain gaps which, men allege, Have been used by every Hobden since a Hobden swapped a hedge.
Shall I dog his morning progress o'er the track-betraying dew? Demand his dinner-basket into which my pheasant flew? Confiscate his evening faggot under which my conies ran, And summons him to judgment? I would sooner summons Pan.
His dead are in the churchyard--thirty generations laid.
Their names were old in history when Domesday Book was made; And the passion and the piety and prowess of his line Have seeded, rooted, fruited in some land the Law calls mine.
Not for any beast that burrows, not for any bird that flies, Would I lose his large sound council, miss his keen amending eyes.
He is bailiff, woodman, wheelwright, field-surveyor, engineer, And if flagrantly a poacher--'tain't for me to interfere.
"Hob, what about that River-bit?" I turn to him again, With Fabricius and Ogier and William of Warenne.
"Hev it jest as you've a mind to, but"-and here he takes com- mand.
For whoever pays the taxes old Mus' Hobden owns the land.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad of the Red Earl

 (It is not for them to criticize too minutely
the methods the Irish followed, though they might deplore some of
their results.
During the past few years Ireland had been going through what was tantamount to a revolution.
-- EARL SPENCER) Red Earl, and will ye take for guide The silly camel-birds, That ye bury your head in an Irish thorn, On a desert of drifting words? Ye have followed a man for a God, Red Earl, As the Lod o' Wrong and Right; But the day is done with the setting sun Will ye follow into the night? He gave you your own old words, Red Earl, For food on the wastrel way; Will ye rise and eat in the night, Red Earl, That fed so full in the day? Ye have followed fast, ye have followed far, And where did the wandering lead? From the day that ye praised the spoken word To the day ye must gloss the deed.
And as ye have given your hand for gain, So must ye give in loss; And as ye ha' come to the brink of the pit, So must ye loup across.
For some be rogues in grain, Red Earl, And some be rogues in fact, And rogues direct and rogues elect; But all be rogues in pact.
Ye have cast your lot with these, Red Earl; Take heed to where ye stand.
Ye have tied a knot with your tongue, Red Earl, That ye cannot loose with your hand.
Ye have travelled fast, ye have travelled far, In the grip of a tightening tether, Till ye find at the end ye must take for friend The quick and their dead together.
Ye have played with the Law between your lips, And mouthed it daintilee; But the gist o' the speech is ill to teach, For ye say: "Let wrong go free.
" Red Earl, ye wear the Garter fair, And gat your place from a King: Do ye make Rebellion of no account, And Treason a little thing? And have ye weighed your words, Red Earl, That stand and speak so high? And is it good that the guilt o' blood, Be cleared at the cost of a sigh? And is it well for the sake of peace, Our tattered Honour to sell, And higgle anew with a tainted crew -- Red Earl, and is it well? Ye have followed fast, ye have followed far, On a dark and doubtful way, And the road is hard, is hard, Red Earl, And the price is yet to pay.
Ye shall pay that price as ye reap reward For the toil of your tongue and pen -- In the praise of the blamed and the thanks of the shamed, And the honour o' knavish men.
They scarce shall veil their scorn, Red Earl, And the worst at the last shall be, When you tell your heart that it does not know And your eye that it does not see.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

Recessional

1897


God of our fathers, known of old,
   Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
   Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
   The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
   An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! Far-called, our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire: Lo, all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe, Such boastings as the Gentiles use, Or lesser breeds without the Law— Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! For heathen heart that puts her trust In reeking tube and iron shard, All valiant dust that builds on dust, And guarding, calls not Thee to guard, For frantic boast and foolish word— Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

To the True Romance

 Thy face is far from this our war,
 Our call and counter-cry,
I shall not find Thee quick and kind,
 Nor know Thee till I die,
Enough for me in dreams to see
 And touch Thy garments' hem:
Thy feet have trod so near to God
 I may not follow them.
Through wantonness if men profess They weary of Thy parts, E'en let them die at blasphemy And perish with their arts; But we that love, but we that prove Thine excellence august, While we adore discover more Thee perfect, wise, and just.
Since spoken word Man's Spirit stirred Beyond his belly-need, What is is Thine of fair design In thought and craft and deed; Each stroke aright of toil and fight, That was and that shall be, And hope too high, wherefore we die, Has birth and worth in Thee.
Who holds by Thee hath Heaven in fee To gild his dross thereby, And knowledge sure that he endure A child until he die -- For to make plain that man's disdain Is but new Beauty's birth -- For to possess in loneliness The joy of all the earth.
As Thou didst teach all lovers speech And Life all mystery, So shalt Thou rule by every school Till love and longing die, Who wast or yet the Lights were set, A whisper in the Void, Who shalt be sung through planets young When this is clean destroyed.
Beyond the bounds our staring rounds, Across the pressing dark, The children wise of outer skies Look hitherward and mark A light that shifts, a glare that drifts, Rekindling thus and thus, Not all forlorn, for Thou hast borne Strange tales to them of us.
Time hath no tide but must abide The servant of Thy will; Tide hath no time, for to Thy rhyme The ranging stars stand still -- Regent of spheres that lock our fears, Our hopes invisible, Oh 'twas certes at Thy decrees We fashioned Heaven and Hell! Pure Wisdom hath no certain path That lacks thy morning-eyne, And captains bold by Thee controlled Most like to Gods design; Thou art the Voice to kingly boys To lift them through the fight, And Comfortress of Unsuccess, To give the dead good-night -- A veil to draw 'twixt God His Law And Man's infirmity, A shadow kind to dumb and blind The shambles where we die; A rule to trick th' arithmetic Too base of leaguing odds -- The spur of trust, the curb of lust, Thou handmaid of the Gods! O Charity, all patiently Abiding wrack and scaith! O Faith, that meets ten thousand cheats Yet drops no jot of faith! Devil and brute Thou dost transmute To higher, lordlier show, Who art in sooth that lovely Truth The careless angels know! Thy face is far from this our war, Our call and counter-cry, I may not find Thee quick and kind, Nor know Thee till I die.
Yet may I look with heart unshook On blow brought home or missed -- Yet may I hear with equal ear The clarions down the List; Yet set my lance above mischance And ride the barriere -- Oh, hit or miss, how little 'tis, My Lady is not there!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Rhyme of the Three Captains

 This ballad appears to refer to one of the exploits of the notorious
Paul Jones, the American pirate.
It is founded on fact.
.
.
.
At the close of a winter day, Their anchors down, by London town, the Three Great Captains lay; And one was Admiral of the North from Solway Firth to Skye, And one was Lord of the Wessex coast and all the lands thereby, And one was Master of the Thames from Limehouse to Blackwall, And he was Captain of the Fleet -- the bravest of them all.
Their good guns guarded their great gray sides that were thirty foot in the sheer, When there came a certain trading-brig with news of a privateer.
Her rigging was rough with the clotted drift that drives in a Northern breeze, Her sides were clogged with the lazy weed that spawns in the Eastern seas.
Light she rode in the rude tide-rip, to left and right she rolled, And the skipper sat on the scuttle-butt and stared at an empty hold.
"I ha' paid Port dues for your Law," quoth he, "and where is the Law ye boast If I sail unscathed from a heathen port to be robbed on a Christian coast? Ye have smoked the hives of the Laccadives as we burn the lice in a bunk, We tack not now to a Gallang prow or a plunging Pei-ho junk; I had no fear but the seas were clear as far as a sail might fare Till I met with a lime-washed Yankee brig that rode off Finisterre.
There were canvas blinds to his bow-gun ports to screen the weight he bore, And the signals ran for a merchantman from Sandy Hook to the Nore.
He would not fly the Rovers' flag -- the bloody or the black, But now he floated the Gridiron and now he flaunted the Jack.
He spoke of the Law as he crimped my crew -- he swore it was only a loan; But when I would ask for my own again, he swore it was none of my own.
He has taken my little parrakeets that nest beneath the Line, He has stripped my rails of the shaddock-frails and the green unripened pine; He has taken my bale of dammer and spice I won beyond the seas, He has taken my grinning heathen gods -- and what should he want o' these? My foremast would not mend his boom, my deckhouse patch his boats; He has whittled the two, this Yank Yahoo, to peddle for shoe-peg oats.
I could not fight for the failing light and a rough beam-sea beside, But I hulled him once for a clumsy crimp and twice because he lied.
Had I had guns (as I had goods) to work my Christian harm, I had run him up from his quarter-deck to trade with his own yard-arm; I had nailed his ears to my capstan-head, and ripped them off with a saw, And soused them in the bilgewater, and served them to him raw; I had flung him blind in a rudderless boat to rot in the rocking dark, I had towed him aft of his own craft, a bait for his brother shark; I had lapped him round with cocoa husk, and drenched him with the oil, And lashed him fast to his own mast to blaze above my spoil; I had stripped his hide for my hammock-side, and tasselled his beard i' the mesh, And spitted his crew on the live bamboo that grows through the gangrened flesh; I had hove him down by the mangroves brown, where the mud-reef sucks and draws, Moored by the heel to his own keel to wait for the land-crab's claws! He is lazar within and lime without, ye can nose him far enow, For he carries the taint of a musky ship -- the reek of the slaver's dhow!" The skipper looked at the tiering guns and the bulwarks tall and cold, And the Captains Three full courteously peered down at the gutted hold, And the Captains Three called courteously from deck to scuttle-butt: -- "Good Sir, we ha' dealt with that merchantman or ever your teeth were cut.
Your words be words of a lawless race, and the Law it standeth thus: He comes of a race that have never a Law, and he never has boarded us.
We ha' sold him canvas and rope and spar -- we know that his price is fair, And we know that he weeps for the lack of a Law as he rides off Finisterre.
And since he is damned for a gallows-thief by you and better than you, We hold it meet that the English fleet should know that we hold him true.
" The skipper called to the tall taffrail: -- "And what is that to me? Did ever you hear of a Yankee brig that rifled a Seventy-three? Do I loom so large from your quarter-deck that I lift like a ship o' the Line? He has learned to run from a shotted gun and harry such craft as mine.
There is never a Law on the Cocos Keys to hold a white man in, But we do not steal the niggers' meal, for that is a nigger's sin.
Must he have his Law as a quid to chaw, or laid in brass on his wheel? Does he steal with tears when he buccaneers? 'Fore Gad, then, why does he steal?" The skipper bit on a deep-sea word, and the word it was not sweet, For he could see the Captains Three had signalled to the Fleet.
But three and two, in white and blue, the whimpering flags began: -- "We have heard a tale of a -- foreign sail, but he is a merchantman.
" The skipper peered beneath his palm and swore by the Great Horn Spoon: -- "'Fore Gad, the Chaplain of the Fleet would bless my picaroon!" By two and three the flags blew free to lash the laughing air: -- "We have sold our spars to the merchantman -- we know that his price is fair.
" The skipper winked his Western eye, and swore by a China storm: -- "They ha' rigged him a Joseph's jury-coat to keep his honour warm.
" The halliards twanged against the tops, the bunting bellied broad, The skipper spat in the empty hold and mourned for a wasted cord.
Masthead -- masthead, the signal sped by the line o' the British craft; The skipper called to his Lascar crew, and put her about and laughed: -- "It's mainsail haul, my bully boys all -- we'll out to the seas again -- Ere they set us to paint their pirate saint, or scrub at his grapnel-chain.
It's fore-sheet free, with her head to the sea, and the swing of the unbought brine -- We'll make no sport in an English court till we come as a ship o' the Line: Till we come as a ship o' the Line, my lads, of thirty foot in the sheer, Lifting again from the outer main with news of a privateer; Flying his pluck at our mizzen-truck for weft of Admiralty, Heaving his head for our dipsey-lead in sign that we keep the sea.
Then fore-sheet home as she lifts to the foam -- we stand on the outward tack, We are paid in the coin of the white man's trade -- the bezant is hard, ay, and black.
The frigate-bird shall carry my word to the Kling and the Orang-Laut How a man may sail from a heathen coast to be robbed in a Christian port; How a man may be robbed in Christian port while Three Great Captains there Shall dip their flag to a slaver's rag -- to show that his trade is fair!"
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

For All We Have And Are

 For all we have and are,
For all our children's fate,
Stand up and take the war.
The Hun is at the gate! Our world has passed away In wantonness o'erthrown.
There is nothing left to-day But steel and fire and stone! Tough all we knew depart, The old Commandments stand: -- "In courage keep your heart, In strength lift up your hand.
" Once more we hear the word That sickened earth of old: -- "No law except the Sword Unsheathed and uncontrolled.
" Once more it knits mankind, Once more the nations go To meet and break and bind A crazed and driven foe.
Comfort, content, delight, The ages' slow-bought gain, They shrivelled in a night.
Only ourselves remain To face the naked days In silent fortitude, Through perils and dismays Renewed and re-renewed.
Though all we made depart, The old Commandments stand: -- "In patience keep your heart, In strength lift up your hand.
" No easy hope or lies Shall bring us to our goal, But iron sacrifice Of body, will, and soul.
There is but one task for all -- One life for each to give.
What stands if Freedom fall? Who dies if England live?
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Song of the Women

 How shall she know the worship we would do her?
 The walls are high, and she is very far.
How shall the woman's message reach unto her Above the tumult of the packed bazaar? Free wind of March, against the lattice blowing, Bear thou our thanks, lest she depart unknowing.
Go forth across the fields we may not roam in, Go forth beyond the trees that rim the city, To whatsoe'er fair place she hath her home in, Who dowered us with walth of love and pity.
Out of our shadow pass, and seek her singing -- "I have no gifts but Love alone for bringing.
" Say that we be a feeble folk who greet her, But old in grief, and very wise in tears; Say that we, being desolate, entreat her That she forget us not in after years; For we have seen the light, and it were grievous To dim that dawning if our lady leave us.
By life that ebbed with none to stanch the failing By Love's sad harvest garnered in the spring, When Love in ignorance wept unavailing O'er young buds dead before their blossoming; By all the grey owl watched, the pale moon viewed, In past grim years, declare our gratitude! By hands uplifted to the Gods that heard not, By fits that found no favor in their sight, By faces bent above the babe that stirred not, By nameless horrors of the stifling night; By ills foredone, by peace her toils discover, Bid Earth be good beneath and Heaven above her! If she have sent her servants in our pain If she have fought with Death and dulled his sword; If she have given back our sick again.
And to the breast the wakling lips restored, Is it a little thing that she has wrought? Then Life and Death and Motherhood be nought.
Go forth, O wind, our message on thy wings, And they shall hear thee pass and bid thee speed, In reed-roofed hut, or white-walled home of kings, Who have been helpen by ther in their need.
All spring shall give thee fragrance, and the wheat Shall be a tasselled floorcloth to thy feet.
Haste, for our hearts are with thee, take no rest! Loud-voiced ambassador, from sea to sea Proclaim the blessing, mainfold, confessed.
Of those in darkness by her hand set free.
Then very softly to her presence move, And whisper: "Lady, lo, they know and love!"
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad of East and West

 Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!

Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border-side,
And he has lifted the Colonel's mare that is the Colonel's pride:
He has lifted her out of the stable-door between the dawn and the day,
And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away.
Then up and spoke the Colonel's son that led a troop of the Guides: "Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides?" Then up and spoke Mahommed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar: "If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye know where his pickets are.
At dusk he harries the Abazai -- at dawn he is into Bonair, But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place to fare, So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird can fly, By the favour of God ye may cut him off ere he win to the Tongue of Jagai.
But if he be past the Tongue of Jagai, right swiftly turn ye then, For the length and the breadth of that grisly plain is sown with Kamal's men.
There is rock to the left, and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between, And ye may hear a breech-bolt snick where never a man is seen.
" The Colonel's son has taken a horse, and a raw rough dun was he, With the mouth of a bell and the heart of Hell and the head of the gallows-tree.
The Colonel's son to the Fort has won, they bid him stay to eat -- Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits not long at his meat.
He's up and away from Fort Bukloh as fast as he can fly, Till he was aware of his father's mare in the gut of the Tongue of Jagai, Till he was aware of his father's mare with Kamal upon her back, And when he could spy the white of her eye, he made the pistol crack.
He has fired once, he has fired twice, but the whistling ball went wide.
"Ye shoot like a soldier," Kamal said.
"Show now if ye can ride.
" It's up and over the Tongue of Jagai, as blown dustdevils go, The dun he fled like a stag of ten, but the mare like a barren doe.
The dun he leaned against the bit and slugged his head above, But the red mare played with the snaffle-bars, as a maiden plays with a glove.
There was rock to the left and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between, And thrice he heard a breech-bolt snick tho' never a man was seen.
They have ridden the low moon out of the sky, their hoofs drum up the dawn, The dun he went like a wounded bull, but the mare like a new-roused fawn.
The dun he fell at a water-course -- in a woful heap fell he, And Kamal has turned the red mare back, and pulled the rider free.
He has knocked the pistol out of his hand -- small room was there to strive, "'Twas only by favour of mine," quoth he, "ye rode so long alive: There was not a rock for twenty mile, there was not a clump of tree, But covered a man of my own men with his rifle cocked on his knee.
If I had raised my bridle-hand, as I have held it low, The little jackals that flee so fast were feasting all in a row: If I had bowed my head on my breast, as I have held it high, The kite that whistles above us now were gorged till she could not fly.
" Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "Do good to bird and beast, But count who come for the broken meats before thou makest a feast.
If there should follow a thousand swords to carry my bones away, Belike the price of a jackal's meal were more than a thief could pay.
They will feed their horse on the standing crop, their men on the garnered grain, The thatch of the byres will serve their fires when all the cattle are slain.
But if thou thinkest the price be fair, -- thy brethren wait to sup, The hound is kin to the jackal-spawn, -- howl, dog, and call them up! And if thou thinkest the price be high, in steer and gear and stack, Give me my father's mare again, and I'll fight my own way back!" Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him upon his feet.
"No talk shall be of dogs," said he, "when wolf and gray wolf meet.
May I eat dirt if thou hast hurt of me in deed or breath; What dam of lances brought thee forth to jest at the dawn with Death?" Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "I hold by the blood of my clan: Take up the mare for my father's gift -- by God, she has carried a man!" The red mare ran to the Colonel's son, and nuzzled against his breast; "We be two strong men," said Kamal then, "but she loveth the younger best.
So she shall go with a lifter's dower, my turquoise-studded rein, My broidered saddle and saddle-cloth, and silver stirrups twain.
" The Colonel's son a pistol drew and held it muzzle-end, "Ye have taken the one from a foe," said he; "will ye take the mate from a friend?" "A gift for a gift," said Kamal straight; "a limb for the risk of a limb.
Thy father has sent his son to me, I'll send my son to him!" With that he whistled his only son, that dropped from a mountain-crest -- He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he looked like a lance in rest.
"Now here is thy master," Kamal said, "who leads a troop of the Guides, And thou must ride at his left side as shield on shoulder rides.
Till Death or I cut loose the tie, at camp and board and bed, Thy life is his -- thy fate it is to guard him with thy head.
So, thou must eat the White Queen's meat, and all her foes are thine, And thou must harry thy father's hold for the peace of the Border-line, And thou must make a trooper tough and hack thy way to power -- Belike they will raise thee to Ressaldar when I am hanged in Peshawur.
" They have looked each other between the eyes, and there they found no fault, They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on leavened bread and salt: They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on fire and fresh-cut sod, On the hilt and the haft of the Khyber knife, and the Wondrous Names of God.
The Colonel's son he rides the mare and Kamal's boy the dun, And two have come back to Fort Bukloh where there went forth but one.
And when they drew to the Quarter-Guard, full twenty swords flew clear -- There was not a man but carried his feud with the blood of the mountaineer.
"Ha' done! ha' done!" said the Colonel's son.
"Put up the steel at your sides! Last night ye had struck at a Border thief -- to-night 'tis a man of the Guides!" Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat; But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

A Ballad of Burial

 ("Saint Proxed's ever was the Church for peace")
If down here I chance to die,
 Solemnly I beg you take
All that is left of "I"
 To the Hills for old sake's sake,
Pack me very thoroughly
 In the ice that used to slake
Pegs I drank when I was dry --
 This observe for old sake's sake.
To the railway station hie, There a single ticket take For Umballa -- goods-train -- I Shall not mind delay or shake.
I shall rest contentedly Spite of clamor coolies make; Thus in state and dignity Send me up for old sake's sake.
Next the sleepy Babu wake, Book a Kalka van "for four.
" Few, I think, will care to make Journeys with me any more As they used to do of yore.
I shall need a "special" break -- Thing I never took before -- Get me one for old sake's sake.
After that -- arrangements make.
No hotel will take me in, And a bullock's back would break 'Neath the teak and leaden skin Tonga ropes are frail and thin, Or, did I a back-seat take, In a tonga I might spin, -- Do your best for old sake's sake.
After that -- your work is done.
Recollect a Padre must Mourn the dear departed one -- Throw the ashes and the dust.
Don't go down at once.
I trust You will find excuse to "snake Three days' casual on the bust.
" Get your fun for old sake's sake.
I could never stand the Plains.
Think of blazing June and May Think of those September rains Yearly till the Judgment Day! I should never rest in peace, I should sweat and lie awake.
Rail me then, on my decease, To the Hills for old sake's sake.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Man Who Could Write

 Boanerges Blitzen, servant of the Queen,
Is a dismal failure -- is a Might-have-been.
In a luckless moment he discovered men Rise to high position through a ready pen.
Boanerges Blitzen argued therefore -- "I, With the selfsame weapon, can attain as high.
" Only he did not possess when he made the trial, Wicked wit of C-lv-n, irony of L--l.
[Men who spar with Government need, to back their blows, Something more than ordinary journalistic prose.
] Never young Civilian's prospects were so bright, Till an Indian paper found that he could write: Never young Civilian's prospects were so dark, When the wretched Blitzen wrote to make his mark.
Certainly he scored it, bold, and black, and firm, In that Indian paper -- made his seniors squirm, Quated office scandals, wrote the tactless truth -- Was there ever known a more misguided youth? When the Rag he wrote for praised his plucky game, Boanerges Blitzen felt that this was Fame; When the men he wrote of shook their heads and swore, Boanerges Blitzen only wrote the more: Posed as Young Ithuriel, resolute and grim, Till he found promotion didn't come to him; Till he found that reprimands weekly were his lot, And his many Districts curiously hot.
Till he found his furlough strangely hard to win, Boanerges Blitzen didn't care to pin: Then it seemed to dawn on him something wasn't right -- Boanerges Blitzen put it down to "spite"; Languished in a District desolate and dry; Watched the Local Government yearly pass him by; Wondered where the hitch was; called it most unfair.
.
.
.
.
.
That was seven years ago -- and he still is there!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

A School Song

 "Let us now praise famous men"--
 Men of little showing-- 
For their work continueth, 
And their work continueth, 
Broad and deep continues,
 Greater then their knowing!

Western wind and open surge
 Took us from our mothers--
Flung us on a naked shore
(Twelve bleak houses by the shore.
Seven summers by the shore! ) 'Mid two hundred brothers.
There we met with famous men Set in office o'er us; And they beat on us with rods-- Faithfully with many rods-- Daily beat us on with rods, For the love they bore us! Out of Egypt unto Troy-- Over Himalaya-- Far and sure our bands have gone-- Hy-Brazil or Babylon, Islands of the Southern Run, And Cities of Cathaia! And we all praise famous men-- Ancients of the College; For they taught us common sense-- Tried to teach us common sense-- Truth and God's Own Common Sense, Which is more than knowledge! Each degree of Latitude Strung about Creation Seeth one or more of us (Of one muster each of us), Diligent in that he does, Keen in his vocation.
This we learned from famous men, Knowing not its uses, When they showed, in daily work-- Man must finish off his work-- Right or wrong, his daily work-- And without excuses.
Servant of the Staff and chain, Mine and fuse and grapnel-- Some, before the face of Kings, Stand before the face of Kings; Bearing gifts to divers Kings-- Gifts of case and shrapnel.
This we learned from famous men Teaching in our borders, Who declared it was best, Safest, easiest, and best-- Expeditious, wise, and best-- To obey your orders.
Some beneath the further stars Bear the greater burden: Set to serve the lands they rule, (Save he serve no man may rule ), Serve and love the lands they rule; Seeking praise nor guerdon.
This we learned from famous men, Knowing not we learned it.
Only, as the years went by-- Lonely, as the years went by-- Far from help as years went by, Plainer we discerned it.
Wherefore praise we famous men From whose bays we borrow-- They that put aside To-day-- All the joys of their To-day-- And with toil of their To-day Bought for us To-morrow! Bless and praise we famous men-- Men of little showing-- For their work continueth, And their work continueth, Broad and deep continueth, Great beyond their knowing!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

A Charm

 Take of English earth as much
As either hand may rightly clutch.
In the taking of it breathe Prayer for all who lie beneath.
Not the great nor well-bespoke, But the mere uncounted folk Of whose life and death is none Report or lamentation.
Lay that earth upon thy heart, And thy sickness shall depart! It shall sweeten and make whole Fevered breath and festered soul.
It shall mightily restrain Over-busied hand and brain.
It shall ease thy mortal strife 'Gainst the immortal woe of life, Till thyself, restored, shall prove By what grace the Heavens do move.
Take of English flowers these -- Spring's full-vaced primroses, Summer's wild wide-hearted rose, Autumn's wall-flowerr of the close, And, thy darkness to illume, Winter's bee-thronged ivy-bloom.
Seek and serve them where they bide From Candlemas to Christmas-tide, For these simples, used aright, Can restore a failing sight.
These shall cleanse and purify Webbed and inward-turning eye; These shall show thee treasure hid, Thy familiar fields amid; And reveal (which is thy need) Every man a King indeed!
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

Song of the Wise Children

 1902

When the darkened Fifties dip to the North,
 And frost and the fog divide the air,
And the day is dead at his breaking-forth,
 Sirs, it is bitter beneath the Bear!

Far to Southward they wheel and glance,
 The million molten spears of morn --
The spears of our deliverance
 That shine on the house where we were born.
Flying-fish about our bows, Flying sea-fires in our wake: This is the road to our Father's House, Whither we go for our souls' sake! We have forfeited our birthright, We have forsaken all things meet; We have forgotten the look of light, We have forgotten the scent of heart.
They that walk with shaded brows, Year by year in a shining land, They be men of our Father's House, They shall receive us and understand.
We shall go back by the boltless doors, To the life unaltered our childhood knew -- To the naked feet on the cool, dark floors, And the high-ceiled rooms that the Trade blows through: To the trumpet-flowers and the moon beyond, And the tree-toad's chorus drowning all -- And the lisp of the split banana-frond That talked us to sleep when we were small.
The wayside magic, the threshold spells, Shall soon undo what the North has done -- Because of the sights and the sounds and the smells That ran with our youth in the eye of the sun.
And Earth accepting shall ask no vows, Nor the Sea our love, nor our lover the Sky.
When we return to our Father's House Only the English shall wonder why!