Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
The Native-Born
 
1894

    WE’VE drunk to the Queen—God bless her!—)
      We’ve drunk to our mothers’ land;
    We’ve drunk to our English brother,
      (But he does not understand);
    We’ve drunk to the wide creation,        5
      And the Cross swings low for the morn,
    Last toast, and of Obligation,
      A health to the Native-born!
 
    They change their skies above them,
      But not their hearts that roam!        10
    We learned from our wistful mothers
      To call old England “home”;
    We read of the English sky-lark,
      Of the spring in the English lanes,
    But we screamed with the painted lories        15
      As we rode on the dusty plains!
 
    They passed with their old-world legends—
      Their tales of wrong and dearth—
    Our fathers held by purchase,
      But we by the right of birth;        20
    Our heart’s where they rocked our cradle,
      Our love where we spent our toil,
    And our faith and our hope and our honour
      We pledge to our native soil!
 
    I charge you charge your glasses—        25
      I charge you drink with me
    To the men of the Four New Nations,
      And the Islands of the Sea—
    To the last least lump of coral
      That none may stand outside,        30
    And our own good pride shall teach us
      To praise our comrade’s pride.
 
    To the hush of the breathless morning
      On the thin, tin, crackling roofs,
    To the haze of the burned back-ranges        35
      And the dust of the shoeless hoofs—
    To the risk of a death by drowning,
      To the risk of a death by drouth—
    To the men of a million acres,
      To the Sons of the Golden South!        40
 
To the Sons of the Golden South (Stand up!),
  And the life we live and know,
Let a fellow sing o’ the little things he cares about,
If a fellow fights for the little things he cares about
  With the weight of a single blow!        45
 
    To the smoke of a hundred coasters,
      To the sheep on a thousand hills,
    To the sun that never blisters,
      To the rain that never chills—
    To the land of the waiting springtime,        50
      To our five-meal, meat-fed men,
    To the tall, deep-bosomed women,
      And the children nine and ten!
 
And the children nine and ten (Stand up!),
  And the life we live and know,        55
Let a fellow sing o’ the little things he cares about,
If a fellow fights for the little things he cares about,
  With the weight of a two-fold blow!
 
    To the far-flung, fenceless prairie
      Where the quick cloud-shadows trail,        60
    To our neighbour’s barn in the offing
      And the line of the new-cut rail;
    To the plough in her league-long furrow
      With the grey Lake gulls behind—
    To the weight of a half-year’s winter        65
      And the warm wet western wind!
 
    To the home of the floods and thunder,
      To her pale dry healing blue—
    To the lift of the great Cape combers,
      And the smell of the baked Karroo.        70
    To the growl of the sluicing stamp-head—
      To the reef and the water-gold,
    To the last and the largest Empire,
      To the map that is half unrolled!
 
    To our dear dark foster-mothers,        75
      To the heathen songs they sung—
    To the heathen speech we babbled
      Ere we came to the white man’s tongue.
    To the cool of our deep verandas—
      To the blaze of our jewelled main,        80
    To the night, to the palms in the moonlight,
      And the fire-fly in the cane!
 
    To the hearth of Our People’s People—
      To her well-ploughed windy sea,
    To the hush of our dread high-altar        85
      Where The Abbey makes us We.
    To the grist of the slow-ground ages,
      To the gain that is yours and mine—
    To the Bank of the Open Credit,
      To the Power-house of the Line!        90
 
    We’ve drunk to the Queen—God bless her!
      We’ve drunk to our mothers’ land;
    We’ve drunk to our English brother
      (And we hope he’ll understand).
    We’ve drunk as much as we’re able,        95
      And the Cross swings low for the morn;
    Last toast—and your foot on the table!—
      A health to the Native-born!
 
A health to the Native-born (Stand up!),
  We’re six white men arow,        100
All bound to sing o’ the little things we care about,
All bound to fight for the little things we care about
  With the weight of a six-fold blow!
By the might of our cable-tow (Take hands!),
  From the Orkneys to the Horn        105
All round the world (and a little loop to pull it by),
All round the world (and a little strap to buckle it),
  A health to the Native-born!
 
 
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