What is the White Man’s Burden? – Chas. H. Goffe, 1899

What is the White man’s burden
Of which the poet sings?-
This laureate from the jungles
Who thinks such horrid things?
Who tells of apes and devils.
Of dark Uncanny lands.
In language weird and savage
Scarce a mortal understands.

What is the White Man’s burden?
Will some one please to rise.
And tell a waiting anxious world.
What Kipling’s verse implies?
To sound the depth of Kipling’s lore
And through his measures trace.
Prophetic of a mighty truth
The kismet of the race?

What is the White Man’s Burden?-
Let him declare who can.
Go search the page of Sacred Writ,
And learn God’s mighty plan:-
To Jacob was that burden given.
To Israel’s name addressed;-
In thee, and in thy chosen seed.
Shall all the earth be blessed.”

And ye shall break the captive’s yoke
The nation’s gates shall hold;
Shall rule the islands of the sea
While time and seasons roll;-
The cattle on a thousand hills;
Earth’s fullness, all art thine.
For Israel’s seed In Isaac’s name
Shall reign to bless mankind.”

What is the White Man’s burden?
‘Tis the scepter and the rod!
Ye cannot shirk the solemn trust
That bears the seal of God?
From Sinai’s stern and awful front;-
By Horeb’s storm rent crest;-
Through Ephraim and Manasseh came,

The race which He has blessed.
Dost see the march of Empire?
‘Tis the Saxon’s battle lines!
The right is on the sunset shore.
The left-the Phillipines!
The center at Omdurman.
Where rolls the sluggish Nile;-
The base is with “our Mother Land”-
Proud Britain’s “Blessed Isle.”

This is the White Man’s burden!
And these “the best we breed”
“The children of God’s Covenant:”
Who came of Israel’s seed.
They rear the Cross of Glory
With freedom’s flag unfurled.
And “the burden” of this mighty race,
Is the Empire of the World.

Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Bill Arp

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