Stalky & Co.

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STALKY & CO.

 

BY

RUDYARD KIPLING

 

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON
1908

 

 

First Edition October 1899
Reprinted November 1899, 1908

 

 

TO

CORMELL PRICE

HEADMASTER, UNITED SERVICES COLLEGE

WESTWARD HO! BIDEFORD, NORTH DEVON

1874-1894

 

}

 

'Let us now praise famous men'—
   Men of little showing—
For their work continueth
And their work continueth
Broad and deep continueth
   Greater than their knowing!


Western wind and open surge
   Took us from our mothers;
Flung us on a naked shore
(Twelve bleak houses by the shore!
Seven summers by the shore!)
   'Mid two hundred brothers.
 
There we met with famous men
   Set in office o'er us;
And they beat on us with rods—
Faithfully with many rods—
Daily beat us on with rods,
   For the love they bore us.

Out of Egypt unto Troy—
   Over Himalaya—
Far and sure our bands have gone—
Hy-Brasil or Babylon,
Islands of the Southern Fun,
   And cities of Cathaia

And we all praise famous men—
   Ancients of the College;
For they taught us common sense—
Tried to teach us common sense—
Truth and God's Own Common Sense,
   Which is more than knowledge!

Each degree of Latitude
   Strung about Creation
Seeth one (or more) of us
(Of one muster all of us),
Diligent in that he does,
   Keen in his vocation.

This we learned from famous men,
   Knowing not its uses,
When they showed, in daily work,
Man must finish off his work—
Right or wrong, his daily work—
   And without excuses.
 
Servants of the Staff and chain,
   Mine and fuse and grapnel—
Some before the face of Kings,
Stand before the face of Kings;
Bearing gifts to divers Kings—
   Gifts of case and shrapnel.

This we learned from famous men
   Teaching in our borders,
Who declared it was best,
Safest, easiest, and best—
Expeditious, wise, and best—
   To obey your orders.

Some beneath the further stars
   Bear the greater burden:

Set to serve the lands they rule,
(Save he serve no man may rule),
Serve and love the lands they rule;
   Seeking praise nor guerdon.

This we learned from famous men,
   Knowing not we learned it.
Only, as the years went by—
Lonely, as the years went by—
Far from help as years went by,
   Plainer we discerned it.

Wherefore praise we famous men
   From whose bays we borrow—
They that put aside To-day—
All the joys of their To-day—
And with toil of their To-day
   Bought for us To-morrow!

Bless and praise we famous men—
   Men of little showing—
For their work continueth,
And their work continueth,
Broad and deep continueth,
   Great beyond their knowing!

 

CONTENTS

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.