Rudyard Kipling

The Quesion

Brethren, how shall it fare with me When the war is laid aside, If it be proven that I am he For whom a world has died? If it be proven that all my good, And the greater good I will make, Were purchased me by a multitude Who suffered for my sake? That I was delivered by mere mankind Vowed to one sacrifice, And not, as I hold them, battle-blind, But dying with open eyes? That they did not ask me to draw the sword When they stood to endure their lot -- That they only looked to me for a word, And I answered I knew them not? If it be found, when the battle clears, Their death has set me free, Then how shall I live with myself through the years Which they have bought for me? Brethren, how must it fare with me, Or how am I justified, If it be proven that I a mhe For whom mankind has died -- If it be proven that I am he Who, being questioned, denied?

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