Category Archives: Poems

We and They, by Rudyard Kipling

“We and They”, a Poem by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling and two of his most well-known works

We and They

Father, Mother, and Me
Sister and Auntie say
All the people like us are We,
And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea,
While We live over the way,
But – would you believe it? – They look upon We
As only a sort of They !

We eat pork and beef
With cow-horn-handled knives.
They who gobble Their rice off a leaf,
Are horrified out of Their lives;
And They who live up a tree,
And feast on grubs and clay,
(Isn’t it scandalous?) look upon We
As a simply disgusting They!

We shoot birds with a gun.
They stick lions with spears.
Their full-dress is un-.
We dress up to Our ears.
They like Their friends for tea.
We like Our friends to stay;
And, after all that, They look upon We
As an utterly ignorant They!

We eat kitcheny food.
We have doors that latch.
They drink milk or blood,
Under an open thatch.
We have Doctors to fee.
They have Wizards to pay.
And (impudent heathen!) They look upon We
As a quite impossible They!

All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They !

 

A Travel Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Robert Louis Stevenson

“Travel”

I should like to rise and go

Where the golden apples grow

Where below another sky

Parrot islands anchored lie,

And, watched by cockatoos and goats,

Lonely Crusoes building boats.

Where in sunshine reaching out

Eastern cities, miles about,

Are with mosque and minaret

Among sandy gardens set,

And the rarest goods from near and far

Hang for sale in the bazaar;

Where the knotty crocodile

Lies and blinks in the Nile

And the red flamingo flies

Hunting fish before his eyes;

Where in jungles, near and far,

Man-devouring tigers are,

Lying close and giving ear,

Lest the hunt be drawing near,

Or a corner-by be seen

Swinging in a palanquin;

Where among the desert sands

Some deserted city stands,

All his children, sweep and prince,

Grown to manhood ages since,

Not a foot in street or house,

Not a stir of child or mouse,

And when kindly falls the night,

In all the town no spark of light.

There I’ll come when I’m a man

With a camel caravan;

Light a fire in the gloom

Of some dusty dining room;

See the pictures on the walls,

Heroes, fights, and festivals;

And in the corner find the toys

Of the old Egyptian boys.

Source:

Huber, Miriam Blanton et al, ed. The Wonder Story Books: The Tales They Tell. (1987) Scribner Education Publishers: New York, Collier Macmillian Publishers. London. Print. Pp. 407-409.