THE STRANGER

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

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 his face and eyes and 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 the same of me.

 

This was my fatherís belief

And this is also mine:

Let the corn be all one sheaf

And the grapes be all one vine,

Ere our childrenís teeth are set on edge

By bitter bread and wine.

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