Prelude

I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
In deaths ye died I have watched beside,
And the lives 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.

by Rudyard Kipling

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