A Dedication To Soldiers Three

By Rudyard Kipling

And they were stronger hands than mine
That digged the Ruby from the earth,
More cunning brains that made it worth
The large desire of a king,
And stouter hearts that through the brine
Went down the perfect Pearl to bring.

Lo, I have wrought in common clay
Rude figures of a rough-hewn race,
Since pearls strew not the market-place
In this my town of banishment,
Where with the shifting dust I play,
And eat the bread of discontent.

Yet is there life in that I make.
0 thou who knowest, turn and see,
As thou hast power over me
So have I power over these,
Because I wrought them for thy sake,
And breathed in them mine agonies.

Small mirth was in the making, now
I lift the cloth that cloaks the clay,
And, wearied, at thy feet I lay
My wares, ere I go forth to sell.
The long bazaar will praise, but thou,
Heart of my heart, have I done well?

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