(May 4th to 10th)

Format: Triple

…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 ?”


This is from “The White Man’s Burden”, first published in The Times in February 1899.

The poem was written after the United States had taken over the Spanish colony of the Philippines, following the Spanish-American War. Kipling was calling on the Americans to share Britain’s world-wide imperial mission.

…No indeed! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we’ll guide them along
To smash and destroy you in War !
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you – you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves !


This is from “A Pict Song”, which was linked to the tale “The Winged Hats” in Puck of Pook’s Hill.

It describes the feelings of the Picts, the little people of the Scottish lowlands, as they looked up at Hadrian’s Wall, the embodiment of Roman imperial power.

…’Who art thou, seller of dog’s flesh … to talk of terms and treaties? Get hence to the hills – go, and wait there starving, till it shall please the Government to call thy people out for punishment – children and fools that ye be ! Count your dead and be still. Rest assured that the Government will send you a man !
‘Ay,’ returned Khoda Dad Khan, ‘ for we also be men.’
As he looked Tallantire between the eyes, he added, ‘And by God Sahib, may thou be that man !’


This is from “The Head of the District” in Life’s Handicap.

A British District Officer on the North West frontier has died, and the Government decides to appoint a Bengali in his place. Hearing of this, and despising Bengalis, the local Pathan tribes rebel. The new District Officer flees, but the rebellion is bloodily put down by his Deputy, Tallantire, who is respected by the tribesmen. They will be glad to have a hard man, and an Englishman, to deal with in future.