Gunga Din

Rudyard Kipling was known as the poet of the British Empire,  He extolled its virtues when the empire was at its very height.  If you looked at a world globe in his days it seemed that almost half was painted in British colors; and the saying was, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”

How things change.

The British Empire is a mere shell of what it was in the early 20th Century, and very few people read Kipling anymore.  Nevertheless, I will never forget the tribute he wrote to a native water boy who died while serving the men of a British regiment in India.  The last lines of that poem were favorites of my brother-in-law Paul Carruth, and he often recited them.

Yes, Din! Din! Din!

You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!

Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,

By the livin’ Gawd that made you,

You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

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