Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
A Song of the White Men
 
1899

NOW, this is the cup the White Men drink
  When they go to right a wrong,
And that is the cup of the old world’s hate—
  Cruel and strained and strong.
We have drunk that cup—and a bitter, bitter cup—        5
  And tossed the dregs away.
But well for the world when the White Men drink
  To the dawn of the White Man’s day!
 
Now, this is the road that the White Men tread
  When they go to clean a land—        10
Iron underfoot and levin overhead
  And the deep on either hand.
We have trod that road—and a wet and windy road—
  Our chosen star for guide.
Oh, well for the world when the White Men tread        15
  Their highway side by side!
 
Now, this is the faith that the White Men hold
  When they build their homes afar—
“Freedom for ourselves and freedom for our sons
  And, failing freedom, War.”        20
We have proved our faith—bear witness to our faith,
  Dear souls of freemen slain!
Oh, well for the world when the White Men join
  To prove their faith again!
 
 
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