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The White Man's Burden

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  • The White Man's Burden

    The White Man's Burden

    TAKE up the White Man's burden -
    Send forth the best ye breed -
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives' 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 Man's 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 another's profit,
    And work another's gain.
    Take up the White Man's 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 hopes to nought.
    Take up the White Man's 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 Man's 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 !) towards the light:-
    "Why brought ye us from bondage,
    "Our loved Egyptian night ?"
    Take up the White Man's 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 Man's 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 judgement of your peers.
    Rudyard Kipling
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