Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
A Dedication
(To Soldiers Three)

AND they were stronger hands than mine
That digged the Ruby from the earth—
More cunning brains that made it worth
The large desire of a king,
And stouter hearts that through the brine        5
Went down the perfect Pearl to bring.
Lo, I have wrought in common clay
Rude figures of a rough-hewn race,
Since pearls strew not the market-place
In this my town of banishment,        10
Where with the shifting dust I play,
And eat the bread of discontent.
Yet is there life in that I make.
O thou who knowest, turn and see—
As thou hast power over me        15
So have I power over these,
Because I wrought them for thy sake,
And breathed in them mine agonies.
Small mirth was in the making—now
I lift the cloth that cloaks the clay,        20
And, wearied, at thy feet I lay
My wares, ere I go forth to sell.
The long bazar will praise, but thou—
Heart of my heart—have I done well?

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