to Departmental Ditties and Other Verses

Rudyard Kipling

I HAVE eaten your bread and salt,
    I have drunk your water and wine,
The deaths ye died I have watched be-side,
    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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