The White Man’s Burden


(The United States and the Philippine Islands)

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.