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

General Summary (Rudyard Kipling)

[This conforms to the 1886 version now]

We are very slightly changed
From the semi-Apes who ranged
   Pre-historic India.
Whoso drew the longest bow,
Ran his brother down, you know,
   As we run men down to-day.

"Dowb," the first of all his race,
Met the Mammoth face to face
   On the lake or in the cave,
Stole the steadiest canoe,
Ate the quarry others slew,
   Died—and took the finest grave.

When they scratched the reindeer-bone
Someone made the sketch his own,
   Filched it from the artist—then,
Even in those early days,
Won a simple Viceroy's praise
   Through the toil of other men.

Ere they hewed the Sphinx's visage
Favoritism governed kissage,
Even as it does in this age.

Who shall doubt "the secret hid
Under Cheops' pyramid"
   Was that the contractor "did"
Cheops out of several millions?
Or that Joseph's sudden rise
To Comptroller of Supplies
Was a fraud of monstrous size
   On King Pharoah's swart Civilians?

Thus, the artless songs I sing
Do not deal with anything
   New or never said before.
As it was in the beginning,
Is to-day official sinning,
    And shall be for ever more.

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