The American Rebellion

By Rudyard Kipling


       Twas not while England's sword unsheathed
          Put half a world to flight,
       Nor while their new-built cities breathed
          Secure behind her might;
       Not while she poured from Pole to Line
          Treasure and ships and men--
       These worshippers at Freedoms shrine
          They did not quit her then!
   Not till their foes were driven forth
      By England o'er the main--
   Not till the Frenchman from the North
      Had gone with shattered Spain;
   Not till the clean-swept oceans showed
      No hostile flag unrolled,
   Did they remember that they owed
      To Freedom--and were bold!
The snow lies thick on Valley Forge,
  The ice on the Delaware,   
But the poor dead soldiers of King George
  They neither know nor care.
Not though the earliest primrose break
  On the sunny side of the lane,
And scuffling rookeries awake
  Their England's spring again.
They will not stir when the drifts are gone,
  Or the ice melts out of the bay:
And the men that served with Washington
  Lie all as still as they.
They will not stir though the mayflower blows
  In the moist dark woods of pine,
And every rock-strewn pasture shows
  Mullein and columbine.
Each for his land, in a fair fight,
  Encountered strove, and died,
And the kindly earth that knows no spite 
  Covers them side by side.
She is too busy to think of war;
  She has all the world to make gay;
And, behold, the yearly flowers are
  Where they were in our fathers' day!
Golden-rod by the pasture-wall 
  When the columbine is dead,
And sumach leaves that turn, in fall,
  Bright as the blood they shed.



An Astrologer's Song

To the Heavens above us
O look and behold
The Planets that love us
All harnessed in gold!
What chariots, what horses
Against us shall bide
While the Stars in their courses
Do fight on our side?
All thought, all desires,
That are under the sun,
Are one with their fires,
As we also are one:
All matter, all spirit,
All fashion, all frame,
Receive and inherit
Their strength from the same.
Oh, man that deniest
All power save thine own,
Their power in the highest
Is mightily shown.
Not less in the lowest
That power is made clear.
(Oh, man, if thou knowest,
What treasure is here!)
Earth quakes in her throes
And we wonder for why!
But the blind planet knows
When her ruler is nigh;
And, attuned since Creation
To perfect accord,
She thrills in her station
And yearns to her Lord.
The waters have risen,
The springs are unbound--
The floods break their prison,
And ravin around.
No rampart withstands 'em,
Their fury will last,
Till the Sign that commands 'em
Sinks low or swings past.
Through abysses unproven
O'er gulfs beyond thought,
Our portion is woven,
Our burden is brought.
Yet They that prepare it,
Whose Nature we share,
Make us who must bear it
Well able to bear.
Though terrors o'ertake us
We'll not be afraid.
No Power can unmake us
Save that which has made:
Nor yet beyond reason
Or hope shall we fall--
All things have their season,
And Mercy crowns all!
Then, doubt not, ye fearful--
The Eternal is King--
Up, heart, and be cheerful,
And lustily sing:--
What chariots, what horses
Against us shall bide
While the Stars in their courses
Do fight on our side?



Gunga Din

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
  He was "Din! Din! Din!
  You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
  Hi! Slippy hitherao!
  Water, get it! Panee lao! [Bring water swiftly.]
  You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."
The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!" [Mr. Atkins's equivalent for "O brother."]
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
  It was "Din! Din! Din!
  You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
  You put some juldee in it [Be quick.]
  Or I'll marrow you this minute [Hit you.]
  If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"
'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back, [Water-skin.]
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
  It was "Din! Din! Din!"
  With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
  When the cartridges ran out,
  You could hear the front-ranks shout,
  "Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"
I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
  It was "Din! Din! Din!
  'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
  E's chawin' up the ground,
  An' 'e's kickin' all around:
  For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"
'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen.
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
  Yes, Din! Din! Din!
  You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
  Though I've belted you and flayed you,
  By the livin' Gawd that made you,
  You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!