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To James Whitcomb Riley

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)



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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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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…

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    "To James Whitcomb Riley" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/33620/to-james-whitcomb-riley>.

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