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The American Rebellion

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)

Before
  Twas not while England's sword unsheathed
  Put half a world to flight,
  Nor while their new-built cities breathed
  Secure behind her might;
  Not while she poured from Pole to Line
  Treasure and ships and men--
  These worshippers at Freedoms shrine
  They did not quit her then!

  Not till their toes were driven forth
  By England o'er the main--
  Not till the Frenchman from the North
  Had gone with shattered Spain;
  Not till the clean-swept oceans showed
  No hostile flag unrolled,
  Did they remember that they owed
  To Freedom--and were bold!

After

The snow lies thick on Valley Forge,
  The ice on the Delaware,
But the poor dead soldiers of King George
  They neither know nor care.

Not though the earliest primrose break
  On the sunny side of the lane,
And scuffling rookeries awake
  Their England' s spring again.

They will not stir when the drifts are gone,
  Or the ice melts out of the bay:
And the men that served with Washington
  Lie all as still as they.

They will not stir though the mayflower blows
  In the moist dark woods of pine,
And every rock-strewn pasture shows
  Mullein and columbine.

Each for his land, in a fair fight,
  Encountered strove, and died,
And the kindly earth that knows no spite
  Covers them side by side.

She is too busy to think of war;
  She has all the world to make gay;
And, behold, the yearly flowers are
  Where they were in our fathers' day!

Golden-rod by the pasture-wall
  When the columbine is dead,
And sumach leaves that turn, in fall,
  Bright as the blood they shed.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:21 min read
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Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India and his tales for children. more…

All Rudyard Kipling poems | Rudyard Kipling Books

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