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 mad 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 hope 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!) toward 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 judgment of your peers!
Return to the Rudyard Kipling library , or . . . Read the next poem; The White Seal