The White Man's Burden Poem by Rudyard Kipling

The White Man's Burden

Rating: 3.0

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!

S. Wesley Mcgranor 14 February 2021

This is a Christian masterpiece!

0 2 Reply
Michael Walker 28 July 2019

While the phrase 'Take up the white man's burden' is repeated effectively, there is something patronizing and condescending about it. Especially when he adds that the superior white man has to contend with, 'Your new-caught sullen peoples/ Half devil and half child'. This is not flattering to the races which Britain colonized. far from it.

0 1 Reply
demonise 13 March 2019

thanks for the information

0 0 Reply
Allen 22 February 2018

I lift it up

0 0 Reply
Jake Baskin 25 September 2008

Well, you can't say it isn't well written. It's comforting to know this same guy wrote Gunga Din, in which he admits in the end, despite the fact that Gunga Din was a slave man for the army, and the author had tendencies to beat him savagely, Gunga Din was still a better man.

6 3 Reply
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