Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/13

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PRELUDE

I have eaten your bread and salt,
I have drunk your water and wine;
The deaths ye died I have watched beside,
And the lives that ye led were mine.


Was there aught that I did not share
In vigil or toil or ease,—
One joy or woe that I did not know,
Dear hearts across the seas?


I have written the tale of our life
For a sheltered people's mirth,
In jesting guise—but ye are wise,
And ye know what the jest is worth.