The Oxen

From Chapter VI (p. 131) of
Beast and Man in India
by John Lockwood Kipling

Between the waving tufts of jungle-grass,
   Up from the river as the twilight falls,
Across the dust-beclouded plain they pass
   On to the village walls. 

Great is the sword and mighty is the pen,
   But over all the labouring ploughman’s blade—
For on its oxen and its husbandmen
   An Empire’s strength is laid.

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