Brazilian Verses

“Such as in Ships”

Rudyard Kipling

SUCH as in Ships and brittle Barks
    Into the Seas descend
Shall learn how wholly on those Arks
    Our Victuals do depend.
For, when a Man would bite or sup,
    Or buy him Goods or Gear,
He needs must call the Oceans up,
    And move an Hemisphere.

Consider, now, that Indian Weed
    Which groweth o’er the Main,
With Teas and Cottons for our Need,
    And Sugar of the Cane—
Their Comings We no more regard
    Than daily Corn or Oil:
Yet, when Men waft Them Englandward,
    How infinite the Toil!

Nation and People harvesteth
    The tropique Lands among,
And Engines of tumultuous Breath
    Do draw the Yield along—
Yea, even as by Hecatombs
    Which, presently struck down
Into our Navies’ labouring Wombs
    Make Pennyworths in Town.

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