Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Prelude
 
(To Departmental Ditties)

I HAVE eaten your bread and salt.
  I have drunk your water and wine.
The deaths ye died I have watched beside,
  And the lives ye led were mine.
 
Was there aught that I did not share        5
  In vigil or toil or ease,—
One joy or woe that I did not know,
  Dear hearts across the seas?
 
I have written the tale of our life
  For a sheltered people’s mirth,        10
In jesting guise—but ye are wise,
  And ye know what the jest is worth.
 
 
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