Treasure Island

Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

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,
And the Cross swings low for the mom,
Last toast, and of Obligation,
A health to the Native-born!

They change their skies above them,
But not their hearts that roam!
We learned from our wistful mothers
To call old England 'home';
We read of the English skylark,
Of the spring in the English lanes,
But we screamed with the painted lories
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;
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 --
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,
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
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 ef a million acres,
To the Sons of the Golden South!

To the Sons of the Golden South (Stand up!),
And the life we live and know,
Let a felow sing o' the little things he cares about,
If a fellow fights for the little things he cares about
With the weight o a single blow!


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,
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,
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,
To our neighbours' 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
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.
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,
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 verandah --
To the blaze of our jewelled main,
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
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!

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,
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 Nativeborn (Stand up!),
We're six white men arow,
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
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!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Friday, December 30, 2011

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Read poems about / on: brother, pride, mom, children, people, hope, home, sea, death, birth, women, world, faith, winter, change, spring, power, house, rain, god

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