The White Manís Burden

by Rudyard Kipling


(The United States and the Philippine Islands)
Take up the White Manís burden―
     Send forth the best ye breed―
Go bind your sons to exile
     To serve your captivesí need;
To wait in heavy harness
     On fluttered folk and wild―
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
     Half devil and half child.
Take up the White Manís Burden―
     In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
     And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
     An hundred times made plain,
To seek anotherís profit,
     And work anotherís gain.
Take up the White Manís burden―
     The savage wars of peace―
Fill full the mouth of Famine
      And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
     The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
     Bring all your hope to nought.
Take up the White Manís burden―
     No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper―
     The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
      The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
      And mark them with your dead!
Take up the White Manís burden―
     And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
     The hate of those ye guard―
The cry of hosts ye humour
      (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:―
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
      "Our loved Egyptian night?"
Take up the White Manís burden―
     Ye dare not stoop to less―
Nor call too loud on Freedom
     To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
     By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
     Shall weigh your Gods and you.
Take up the White Manís burden―
     Have done with childish days―
The lightly proffered laurel,
     The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
     Through all the thankless years,
Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
      The judgment of your peers!
Rudyard Kipling | Classic Poems
If ] The Way Through the Woods ] Danny Deever ] Recessional ] Tommy ] [ The White Man's Burden ] Chant-Pagan ] The Deep Sea Cables ] The Dykes ] Gunga Din ] The Gods of the Copybook Headings ] Fuzzy-Wuzzy ] The Land ] The Old Men ] My Rival ]





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