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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

To James Whitcomb Riley

1890

On Receiving a Copy of His Rhymes for Children


Your trail runs to the westward, And mine to my own place; There is water between our lodges, And I have not seen your face. But since I have read your verses 'Tis easy to guess the rest,-- Because in the hearts of the children There is neither East nor West. Born to a thousand fortunes Of good or evil hap, Once they were kings together, Throned in a mother's lap. Surely they know that secret-- Yellow and black and white-- When they meet as kings together In innocent dreams at night. By a moon they all can play with-- Grubby and grimed and unshod, Very happy together, And very near to God. Your trail runs to the westward, And mine to my own place: There is water between our lodges, And you cannot see my face.-- And that is well--for crying Should neither be written nor seen, But if I call you Smoke-in-the-Eyes, I know you will know what I mean.

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