Here you will find the Long Poem One Viceroy Resigns of poet Rudyard Kipling
(Lord Dufferin to Lord Lansdowne) So here's your Empire. No more wine, then? Good. We'll clear the Aides and khitmatgars away. (You'll know that fat old fellow with the knife -- He keeps the Name Book, talks in English too, And almost thinks himself the Government.) O Youth, Youth, Youth! Forgive me, you're so young. Forty from sixty -- twenty years of work And power to back the working. Ay def mi! You want to know, you want to see, to touch, And, by your lights, to act. It's natural. I wonder can I help you. Let me try. You saw -- what did you see from Bombay east? Enough to frighten any one but me? Neat that! It frightened Me in Eighty-Four! You shouldn't take a man from Canada And bid him smoke in powder-magazines; Nor with a Reputation such as -- Bah! That ghost has haunted me for twenty years, My Reputation now full blown -- Your fault -- Yours, with your stories of the strife at Home, Who's up, who's down, who leads and who is led -- One reads so much, one hears so little here. Well, now's your turn of exile. I go back To Rome and leisure. All roads lead to Rome, Or books -- the refuge of the destitute. When you ... that brings me back to India. See! Start clear. I couldn't. Egypt served my turn. You'll never plumb the Oriental mind, And if you did it isn't worth the toil. Think of a sleek French priest in Canada; Divide by twenty half-breeds. Multiply By twice the Sphinx's silence. There's your East, And you're as wise as ever. So am I. Accept on trust and work in darkness, strike At venture, stumble forward, make your mark, (It's chalk on granite), then thank God no flame Leaps from the rock to shrivel mark and man. I'm clear -- my mark is made. Three months of drought Had ruined much. It rained and washed away The specks that might have gathered on my Name. I took a country twice the size of France, And shuttered up one doorway in the North. I stand by those. You'll find that both will pay, I pledged my Name on both -- they're yours to-night. Hold to them -- they hold fame enough for two. I'm old, but I shall live till Burma pays. Men there -- not German traders -- Crsthw-te knows -- You'll find it in my papers. For the North Guns always -- quietly -- but always guns. You've seen your Council? Yes, they'll try to rule, And prize their Reputations. Have you met A grim lay-reader with a taste for coins, And faith in Sin most men withhold from God? He's gone to England. R-p-n knew his grip And kicked. A Council always has its H-pes. They look for nothing from the West but Death Or Bath or Bournemouth. Here's their ground. They fight Until the middle classes take them back, One of ten millions plus a C.S.I. Or drop in harness. Legion of the Lost? Not altogether -- earnest, narrow men, But chiefly earnest, and they'll do your work, And end by writing letters to the Times, (Shall I write letters, answering H-nt-r -- fawn With R-p-n on the Yorkshire grocers? Ugh!) They have their Reputations. Look to one -- I work with him -- the smallest of them all, White-haired, red-faced, who sat the plunging horse Out in the garden. He's your right-hand man, And dreams of tilting W-ls-y from the throne, But while he dreams gives work we cannot buy; He has his Reputation -- wants the Lords By way of Frontier Roads. Meantime, I think, He values very much the hand that falls Upon his shoulder at the Council table -- Hates cats and knows his business; which is yours. Your business! twice a hundered million souls. Your business! I could tell you what I did Some nights of Eighty-Five, at Simla, worth A Kingdom's ransom. When a big ship drives, God knows to what new reef the man at the whee! Prays with the passengers. They lose their lives, Or rescued go their way; but he's no man To take his trick at the wheel again -- that's worse Than drowning. Well, a galled Mashobra mule (You'll see Mashobra) passed me on the Mall, And I was -- some fool's wife and ducked and bowed To show the others I would stop and speak. Then the mule fell -- three galls, a hund-breadth each, Behind the withers. Mrs. Whatsisname Leers at the mule and me by turns, thweet thoul! "How could they make him carry such a load!" I saw -- it isn't often I dream dreams -- More than the mule that minute -- smoke and flame From Simla to the haze below. That's weak. You're younger. You'll dream dreams before you've done. You've youth, that's one -- good workmen -- that means two Fair chances in your favor. Fate's the third. I know what I did. Do you ask me, "Preach"? I answer by my past or else go back To platitudes of rule -- or take you thus In confidence and say: "You know the trick: You've governed Canada. You know. You know!"