The Stranger

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)



The Stranger within my gate,
  He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk--
  I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
  But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock,
   They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
   They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
   When we go to buy or sell.
   
The Stranger within my gates,
  He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control--
  What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
   Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock,
   Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
  And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
   They think of the likes of me.

This was my father's belief
  And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf--
  And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
  By bitter bread and wine.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 02, 2023

59 sec read
5,213

Quick analysis:

Scheme xaxaxa Bcxcxc xxxxxx Bdxdxd efefxf
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 939
Words 196
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

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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"The Stranger" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/33582/the-stranger>.

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