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Scott Holmes <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 19 Nov 2023 11:45:29 -0800
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I’ve been caught up in Twain’s interest in Rudyard Kipling, especially 
Alan Gribben’s 9 page entry on Kipling. Gribben remarks that in 1908 
Twain marked the poem titles from Collected Verse of Rudyard Kipling but 
“It might be noted that in marking these titles he skipped over page 
215, “The White Man's Burden,”.

 From the American Social History website, I found this synopsis of the 

“In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a 
poem entitled “The White Man’s Burden: The United States and The 
Philippine Islands.” In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the 
“burden” of empire, as had Britain and other European nations. Theodore 
Roosevelt, soon to become vice-president and then president, described 
it as “rather poor poetry, but good sense from the expansion point of view.”

I understand that America’s military actions in the Philippines was 
significant in Twain’s anti-imperialist stance but perhaps Kipling’s 
poem was too much for him.

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 made 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 hopes 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 !) towards 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 judgement of your peers.

/*Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado*/

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