The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900

Departmental Ditties (Rudyard Kipling)


I have eaten your bread and salt,
   I have drunk your water and wine,
The deaths ye died I have watched beside,
   And the lives that ye led were mine.
Was there aught that I did not share
   In vigil or toil or ease,
One joy or woe that I did not know,
   Dear hearts across the seas?
I have written the tale of our life
   For a sheltered people's mirth,
In jesting guise—but ye are wise,
   And ye know what the jest is worth.

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