Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
The Voortrekker
 
THE GULL shall whistle in his wake, the blind wave break in fire.
He shall fulfil God’s utmost will, unknowing his desire.
And he shall see old planets change and alien stars arise,
And give the gale his seaworn sail in shadow of new skies,
Strong lust of gear shall drive him forth and hunger arm his hand,        5
To win his food from the desert rude, his pittance from the sand.
His neighbours’ smoke shall vex his eyes, their voices break his rest.
He shall go forth till south is north sullen and dispossessed.
He shall desire loneliness and his desire shall bring,
Hard on his heels, a thousand wheels, a People and a King.        10
He shall come back on his own track, and by his scarce-cooled camp
There shall he meet the roaring street, the derrick and the stamp:
There he shall blaze a nation’s ways with hatchet and with brand,
Till on his last-won wilderness an Empire’s outposts stand!
 
 
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