Rudyard Kipling

The Fires

Men make them fires on the hearth Each under his roof-tree, And the Four Winds that rule the earth They blow the smoke to me. Across the high hills and the sea And all the changeful skies, The Four Winds blow the smoke to me Till the tears are in my eyes. Until the tears are in my eyes. And my heart is wellnigh broke For thinking on old memories That gather in the smoke. With every shift of every wind The homesick memories come, From every quarter of mankind Where I have made me a home. Four times a fire against the cold And a roof against the rain -- Sorrow fourfold and joy fourfold The Four Winds bring again! How can I answer which is best Of all the fires that burn? I have been too often host or guest At every fire in turn. How can I turn from any fire, On any man's hearthstone? I know the wonder and desire That went to build my own! How can I doubt man's joy or woe Where'er his house-fires shine. Since all that man must undergo Will visit me at mine? Oh, you Four Winds that blow so strong And know that his is true, Stoop for a little and carry my song To all the men I knew! Where there are fires against the cold, Or roofs against the rain -- With love fourfold and joy fourfold, Take them my songs again!

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