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980-1016 It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation To call upon a neighbour and to say: -- "We invaded you last night -- we are quite prepared to fight, Unless you pay us cash to go away.
" And that is called asking for Dane-geld, And the people who ask ti explain That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld And then you'll get rid of the Dane! It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation, To puff and look important and to say: -- "Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.
" And that is called paying the Dane-geld; But we've proved it again and again, That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld You never get rid of the Dane.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation, For fear they should succumb and go astray; So when you are requested to pay up or be molested, You will find it better policy to say: -- "We never pay any-one Dane-geld, No matter how trifling the cost; For the end of that game is oppression and shame, And the nation that plays it is lost!"

Poem by Rudyard Kipling
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