(To “The Departmental Ditties”)
by Rudyard Kipling
I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
The deaths ye died I have watched beside,
And the lives ye led were mine.
Was there aught that I did not share
In vigil or toil or ease, –
One joy or woe that I did not know,
Dear hearts across the seas?
I have written the tale of our life
For a sheltered people’s mirth,
In jesting guise – but ye are wise,
And ye shall know what the jest is worth.