Friday, November 30, 2007

White Man's Burden

A tribute the Kipling's White man's burden. Some people think that white man's burden has something to do with the US invasion of (previously Spanish) Philippines. I just think Kipling was a frustrated office worker:

Take up the White Man's burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go, bind your sons to offices
To serve their bosses' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
You're new-caught sullen peoples,
Half caffeine and half child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In queues to abide,
To veil the threat of error
By cheque and show and pride;
By open speech rejected,
An hundred times made plain:
We seek another's profit,
And work for no one's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Pointless flame wars of hate--
Fulfil the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness wait;
And when your goal is nearest
The end of waiting sought,
Watch sloth and office Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But foil of serf and sweeper--
In even common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go demand of them your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
To blame those who do better,
To hate those who guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought it us this bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not aim for art--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To free your human heart;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh on God and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold edged, but dear-bought paychecks,
Will trade your life for beers.