India History, the British Empire, and Rudyard Kipling: "Oh, East is East, and West is West, And never the twain shall meet." - American Minute with Bill Federer

"Oh, East is East, and West is West,
And never the twain shall meet,
Till earth and sky stand presently,
At God's great judgment seat"
wrote Rudyard Kipling in Ballad of East and West.


India was called the "Jewel in the Crown" of the British Empire.


Since ancient times, India had approximately 20 percent of the world's population, speaking over 1,000 different languages and dialects.


India drew its name from the Indus River, which came from the old Persian name "Hindus." This was derived from the old Sanskrit word "Sindhu," meaning "large body of trembling water," as the river cascaded from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean.


Evidence of habitation dates back to circa 3300 B.C., with a notable Harappan civilization from 2600 to 1900 B.C.


The population of India historically followed the Vedic Brahman culture and religion, which transitioned into Hinduism.


A famous Iron Age Vedic kingdom was that of the Magadha, 1200-321 B.C.


A notable Jain leader was Lord Mahavira, 599-527 B.C., who lived during the time of Gautama Buddha.


Alexander the Great crossed the Indus River in 326 B.C. to conquer India, but after the Battle of the Hydaspes his army mutinied, refusing to fight further east across the Hyphasis River.


Throughout the four millennia of Indian history, there have been thousands of kingdoms and dynasties. 


In the years 322-298 B.C., Chandragupta Maurya founded India's great Maurya Empire.


His Machiavellian royal advisor, Chanakya, strategically fanned hostilities between various Indian kingdoms allowing Chandragupta to divide and conquer them. 


The Golden Age of India is considered to be during the Gupta Empire 320-550 A.D.


Beginning in 1221, Genghis Khan and the Mongolian army under his sons Ögedei Khan and Chagatai Khan, and grandsons Hulagu Khan and Möngke Khan, attacked the Dehli Sultanate in northern India.


Marco Polo traveled from Europe across India on his way to China in 1271, where he worked for Yuan Emperor Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan.


In 1398, an heir of Genghis Khan was Timur, or Tamerlane, called the "Sword of Islam."


His Timurid Empire attacked the vast Dehli Sultanate of India, killing an estimated 17 million. 


India has been described as having 330 million gods, with each family or tribe having their own particular "deities."


Tamerlane's autobiographical memoir, Malfuzat-i-Timuri, composed in the Chaghatai Mongol language and translated into Persian by Abu Talib Husaini, stated:
"About this time there arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the infidels, and to become a ghazi, for it had reached my ears that the slayer of infidels is a ghazi, and if he is slain he becomes a martyr.
It was on this account that I formed this resolution, but I was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of China or against the infidels and polytheists of India ..."


Tamerlane continued: 
"In this matter I sought an omen from the Qur'an, and the verse I opened upon was this, 'O Prophet, make war upon infidels and unbelievers, and treat them with severity' Sura 66:9.
My great officers told me that the inhabitants of Hindustan were infidels and unbelievers. In obedience to the order of Almighty Allah I ordered an expedition against them."


Tamerlane slaughtered over 100,000 in Delhi, India, instructing soldiers to return with a head in each hand, and piling them into pyramids of severed heads.


The Malfuza-i-Timuri recorded that at Hardwar, Tamerlane's Muslim troops:
"Displayed great courage and daring; they made their swords their banners, and exerted themselves in slaying the foe - during a bathing festival on the bank of the Ganges ... They slaughtered many of the infidels, and pursued those who fled to the mountains. So many of them were killed that their blood ran down the mountains and plain, and thus nearly all were sent to hell.
The few who escaped, wounded, weary, and half dead, sought refuge in the defiles of the hills. Their property and goods, which exceeded all computation, and their countless cows and buffaloes, fell as spoil into the hands of my victorious soldiers."


French historian and member of the French Academy, Rene' Grousset, 1885-1952, published in his original edition of L'Empire Des Steppes: 
"Mongols were mere barbarians who killed simply because for centuries this had been the instinctive behavior of nomad herdsmen ...
To this ferocity Tamerlane added a taste for religious murder. He killed from Qur'anic piety. - "Il tuait par piete cornice" ...
He represents a synthesis, probably unprecedented in history, of Mongol barbarity and Muslim fanaticism, and symbolizes that advanced form of primitive slaughter which is murder committed for the sake of an abstract ideology, as a duty and a sacred mission."


Will Durant wrote in The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage, 1935 (p. 459): 
"The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history ... The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 A.D. to 1700 A.D. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period."


Innovations from India went EAST to Mongolia and China, and WEST to Persia and Europe.


These included numerical characters, such as zero, decimals, textiles, cloth, dyes, incense clock, and the game of chess.


Along the trade routes, an estimated 2 million were killed by Muslim raiders, called "thugs," together with Hindu followers of Kali.


They would join unsuspecting caravans and travel with them for a while, pretending to be friends.


After gaining their trust, thugs would distract their victims, sneak up from behind and strangle them to death with a noose or handkerchief.


Thugs were careful to make sure every traveler in the group was buried so that their deeds would not be exposed.


When Muslims finally cut off all land trade routes from Europe to India and China, Europeans looked for a sea route, beginning The Age of Discovery.


Columbus thought he had sailed to India in 1492, so he named the inhabitants "Indians," and the Caribbean Sea, the "West Indies."


In 1497, King Manuel the First of Portugal sent explorer Vasco de Gama to find an eastern route to the Far East by sailing around South Africa.


He arrived in Calicut, India, in 1498, and began a Portuguese colony in area of Goa, India.


Vasco de Gama encountered Christian churches in southern India which traced their origins back to the Apostle Thomas. 


These churches continued early Christian traditions until the Portuguese aggressively forced them to adopt a "latinized" liturgy with European religious traditions.


In 1526, a descendant of Tamerlane named Babur, conquered northern India and founded the Muslim Mughal - Mogul - Empire.


In 1541, St. Francis Xavier led a small group from Libson, Portugal, to be missionaries, traveling to Mozambique, India, Malacca, Maluku Islands, Amboina, Ternate, Japan, and China.  


In 1577, Sir Francis Drake began a three year journey to circumnavigate the globe.


His travels took him to the Spice Islands of Indonesia, where he almost sank on a reef, then crossed the Indian Ocean, around Cape Horn and up the coast of Africa back to England in 1580.


In 1579, Oxford educated priest Thomas Stephens became one of the first European missionaries, and probably the first Englishman, to sail to India. 


He helped convert many of the upper Indian society, writing Kristpurana - the Story of Christ.


In 1598, Portuguese Jesuit missionary Bento de Góis, dressed as an Armenian merchant, was the first European to travel overland from India, across Afghanistan, the Pamirs, to China, in 1598.


Saracen Muslims raided the caravan he was with, destroying his meticulously kept travel journal.


In 1599, John Mildenhall and Richard Newman set off to become some of the first Englishmen to reach India by traveling over land. 


The British East India Company was founded in 1600, and John Mildenhall acted as its representative. He died there in 1614, being considered the first Englishman to be buried in India.


The Dutch East India Company - Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie - was founded in 1602. It became the most financially successful joint-stock company for several centuries.


The Dutch captured Goa, India, from the Portuguese and opened trade with Jakarta, Mauritius, the Indonesian Spice Island of Maluku, and holding a monopoly on trade with Japan for centuries.


In 1653, the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, a descendant of both Tamerlane and Babur, built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. 


Legends persist that to prevent another building from being built which could rival its beauty, Shah Jahan had all the workers' hands cut off.


In the Punjab area of India, modern-day Pakistan, Sikhism began during the time of Guru Nanak, 1469-1539. 


Between 1630 and 1668, the French merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier made six expeditions to India and Persia.


In 1675, King Louis the Fourteenth requested that he publish his accounts, which included some of the first western descriptions of the exercise "yoga."


Shah Jahan waged war on Sikh and Hindu cities, killing thousands.


A contemporary record, Badshah Nama, Qazinivi and Badshah Nama, Lahori stated:
"When Shuja was appointed - by Shah Jahan - as governor of Kabul he carried on a ruthless war in the Hindu territory beyond Indus ...
The sword of Islam yielded a rich crop of converts ... Most of the women - to save their honor - burnt themselves to death. Those captured were distributed among Muslim Mansabdars - Noblemen."


The French physician and explorer François Bernier traveled to Egypt, Arabia, and northern India from 1656 to 1669, spending eight years in the court of India's Muslim Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.


Resistance against India's Muslim rulers was led by Hindu leader Shivaji Maharaj, 1627-1680, the Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, 1666-1708, and the Sikh order of Khalsa in 1699.


In 1713, Farrukhsiyar became the Mughal Emperor of India. He was the great-great-grandson of Shah Jahan, and continued his practice of massacring Sikhs.


In 1717, Farrukhsiyar became deathly ill. An English physician, William Hamilton, happened to be part of a delegation visiting Delhi, India. Hamilton treated the Emperor Farrukhsiyar and he recovered. 


In gratitude, the Emperor gave Hamilton an elephant, a horse, five thousand rupees in money, two diamond rings, a jeweled aigrette - feather head ornament, a set of gold buttons, and models of all his instruments in gold.


More importantly, the Emperor granted Hamilton's request for free trade rights in Bengal for the British East India Account.


This led to a British trading post in Bengal, which turned into a colony. From there, the British took control of all of Bengal, and eventually all of India.


William Hamilton died in India and was buried in the yard of St. John's Church in Calcutta. His gravestone is inscribed:
"Under this Stone lies interred the Body of William Hamilton, Surgeon, Who departed this life 4 December 1717. His memory ought to be dear to his Nation for the credit he gained the English in curing Ferrukseer, the present King of Indostan, of a Malignant Distemper, by which he made his own Name famous at the Court of that Great Monarch; and without doubt will perpetuate his memory, as well in Great Britain as all other Nations of Europe."


A British merchant named Elihu Yale was in charge of the British East India Company's Fort St. George in Madras, India.


In 1716, Yale donated money to an American college founded by Congregationalist ministers - "Collegiate School" - which they renamed after him - Yale College.


The Mughal Empire ended in Northern India in 1739, when it was conquered by Persia, whose Shi'a Muslim Shah, Kouli-Kan, sacked Delhi.


Yale President Ezra Stiles wrote May 8, 1783: 
"The widespread dominion of the imposter of Mecca, with his successors, the Caliphs and Mamelukes, down to Kouli-Kan, who dethroned his prince, and plundered India of two hundred million sterling -- these were all founded in unrighteousness and tyrannical usurpation ...
Indifferent to the great cause of right and liberty ... belligerent powers prevailed -- a Seljuk Turk - Tangrolopix or a Mahomet ... tyranny being the sure portion."


Beginning in 1739, Zakaria Khan was the Muslim Governor of Lahore, Punjab. He offered rewards for Sikh scalps. Hundreds of Sikhs were brought to the horse market in Lahore and executed, resulting in the market being named "Shahidganj" -- "the place of the martyred."


Frustrated at Sikh resilience, Governor Zakaria Khan asked his men:
"From where do the Sikhs obtain their nourishment? I have debarred them from all occupations ... 
They do not farm, nor are they allowed to do business or join public employment. I have stopped all offerings to their Gurdwaras. No provisions or supplies are accessible to them. Why do they not die of sheer starvation?"


Zakaria Khan killed an additional 7,000 Sikhs in 1746 as they were attempting to escape to the Himalayas.


The next Muslim Governor of Lahore, Punjab, was Mu'in ul-Mulk. He had a special military unit of 900 soldiers whose job it was to hunt down Sikhs. An eye witness reported:
"Mu'in appointed most of the gunmen to the task of chastising the Sikhs. They ran after these wretches up to 67 kilometers - 42 miles - a day and slew them wherever they stood up to oppose them.
Anybody who brought a Sikh head received a reward of ten rupees per head ...
Sikhs who were captured alive were sent to hell by being beaten with wooden mallets. At times, Adina Beg Khan sent 40-50 Sikh captives from the Doab. They were as a rule killed with the strokes of wooden hammers."


One account stated that Sikh women were:
"Put to grind grain in the prison ... given merciless lashing ... As their children, hungry and thirsty, wailed and writhed on the ground for a morsel, the helpless prisoners in the clutches of the tyrants could do little except solace them with their affection. Wearied from crying, the hungry children would at last go to sleep."


In 1757, Muslim ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali, considered the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan, conquered all the way to the Hindu city of Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna.


The chronicle Tarikh-I-Alamgiri recorded:
"Abdali's soldiers would be paid 5 Rupees - a sizeable amount at the time - for every enemy head brought in. 
Every horseman had loaded up all his horses with the plundered property, and atop of it rode the girl-captives and the slaves.
The severed heads were tied up in rugs like bundles of grain and placed on the heads of the captives ... Then the heads were stuck upon lances and taken to the gate of the chief minister for payment. It was an extraordinary display! Daily did this manner of slaughter and plundering proceed. And at night the shrieks of the women captives who were being raped, deafened the ears of the people ...
All those heads that had been cut off were built into pillars, and the captive men upon whose heads those bloody bundles had been brought in, were made to grind corn, and then their heads too were cut off. These things went on all the way to the city of Agra, nor was any part of the country spared."


Abdali massacred an additional 30,000 Sikhs on February 5, 1762, as they tried to escape east to the Hariyana desert. 


Francois Gautier wrote in Rewriting Indian History, 1996: 
"The massacres perpetuated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history."


European countries established colonies in India, notably Dutch, French and Danish. 


Beginning with English physician William Hamilton's trade rights granted by Emperor Farrukhsiyar in 1717, the British eventually drove the other European colonies out of India.


The British East India Company traded in valuable commodities such as tea, cotton, silk, indigo - blue - dye, salt, and saltpetre - needed for gunpowder.


The British introduced the planting of tea from China into India.


The British East India Company strategically took advantage of hostilities between various Indian kingdoms, supplying them with arms and ammunition. 


After the kingdoms devastated each other, the British East India Company conquered both sides. This divide and conquer tactic was repeated till they controlled most of India by 1757.


The Company had its own private army of 260,000, twice the size of the British Army, and controlled half of the world's trade.


In 1770, the Bengal Famine killed an estimated 10 million people - a third of Bengal's population. It was the first of several major Bengal famines during the era of British rule.
Administrative costs skyrocketed while Bengal's labor productivity plummeted. This was all occurring as an economic downturn hit Europe, causing a depression in trade.
Facing bankruptcy, the British East India Company appealed to Parliament for help. Parliament responded by passed the Tea Act in 1773.
It was tea from the British East India Company that American colonists threw into Boston's Harbor during the Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773, sparking the American Revolution.


The British East India Company also grew opium in India, which they then forcibly imported into China, causing the Opium Wars of 1839-1842 and 1856-1860.


Two competing motivations can be traced through history:
individuals motivated by greed, and
individuals motivated by the Gospel.


The British East India Company's profit motive caused it to want to curry favor with Hindu leaders in order to benefit trade. As a result, the Company was hostile to Christian missionaries, who were motivated to share the Gospel of God's love.
The British East India Company resisted the work of missionaries, such as Baptist minister William Carey, who arrived in India in 1793. 


Carey, considered the Father of Modern Missions, founded Serampore College in India's West Bengal area in 1818. It is the oldest college in the country.


Carey wrote An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, which led to the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society.


He helped end "sati," the practice of burning widows to death on the ashes of their husbands, and in 1825, he completed the Dictionary of Bengali and English.


Carey wrote: "Expect great things from God, Attempt great things for God."


In the early 1800s, the disease of cholera spread from India to Russia and Europe, then to America and the world.


Becoming the disease of the 19th century, cholera killed tens of millions of people worldwide.


In 1857, there was a mutiny of Indian foot soldiers, called sepoys, in the ranks of the British East India Company in northern and central India.


New enfield rifles had to have cartridges greased in order to fire properly. Soldiers had to bite off the paper wrapping before inserting the cartridges into the rifles.


A rumor spread that the grease was from pigs, which angered Muslims, or that the grease was from cows, which angered Hindus. The mutiny grew into a rebellion.


This led to the British Crown taking direct control of India in 1858 and dissolving the East India Company in 1874. 


Queen Victoria began using the title Empress of India in 1876.


Mary Jane Kinnaird had worked with Florence Nightingale to train nurses to during the Crimean War with Russia. She was inspired by the Y.M.C.A.-Young Men’s Christian Association, to found the Y.W.C.A.-Young Women's Christian Association in 1855.


She formed the Indian Female Normal School and Instruction Society, which supported over 60 schools in India and over 1,300 zenanas - safe homes for women. To recognize her contribution, in 1907, a school in Lahore, Pakistan took the name Kinnaird Christian Girls' High School. It grew to become one of Pakistan’s most prestigious universities - Kinnaird College for Women University.
She helped expand the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission across India, and the Lady Kinnaird Memorial Hospital in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, is named for her.


Donald Fraser wrote in Mary Jane Kinnaird (London: Nisbet & Co., 1890):
“Mary Jane Kinnaird led a prayer movement for world evangelism, writing in a tract ...
'united prayer in reference ... to the condition of the Jews, Mohammedans, and the heathen world ... Prayer ... awakens such strong opposition ... from the world, the flesh, and the devil ... Hence the power of prayer -- when to one God and Father, through one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and by one Holy Spirit, the prompter of prayer, the multitude of them that believe appeal for ... strength to fight the good fight of faith.'"


Winston Churchill was assigned to the Malakand Field Force, 1896-1897, fighting in India’s North-West Frontier.


Churchill wrote in The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, 1898 (Dover Publications): 
The tribesmen of the Afghan border ... kill one another without loss of temper ... All are held in the grip of miserable superstition ...
Their superstition exposes them to the rapacity and tyranny of a numerous ... Mullahs ... live free at the expense of the people ... no man’s wife or daughter is safe from them ... The Mullah drones the evening prayer ... Then the Mullah will raise his voice and remind them of other days when the sons of the prophet drove the infidel from the plains of India, and ruled at Delhi."


One of the long-lasting advantages the British gave India was the introduction of the English language, pioneered by missionary William Carey's translation of all or parts of the Bible into 44 languages and dialects, including Bengali, Oriya, Marathi, Hindi, Assamese, and Sanskrit.


This positioned India to become an emerging global super power, having the second largest English-speaking population in the world. Despite the negatives of British colonization, the introduction of the English language positioned India to be a key nation in international commerce for generations to come.


Over a million Indians served with the British during World War One, fighting in East Africa, on the Western Front, Egypt, and against the Ottoman Empire in Mesopotamia.


In the 1930s, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi campaigned for reforms, then began a non-violent movement for independence, earning him the unofficial title as Father of the Nation.


Gandhi criticized the British for disarming the common people of India, as he wrote in An Autobiography of the Story of My Experiments with the Truth, 1927 (translated by M. Desai):
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."


During World War Two, over 2.5 million Indians served under British command during in Europe, North Africa and South Asia.


1947, Britain granted independence, partitioning the land into two states:
 • India, majority Hindu; and
Pakistan, majority Muslim.


In 1959, Martin Luther King, Jr., toured India, where he learned about Gandhi's "non-violent" protests.


In 1966, the musical group The Beetles, toured India, popularizing Hindu culture in England and America.


In 1999, there was a Y2K scare -- the fear that computers would shut down when the calendar switched to 2000.


An urgent and massive effort was organized by businesses to utilize Indian programmers to re-code software. This resulted in a booming tech industry and a global shift of international wealth to India


Mumbai is India's richest city, with a total wealth of $820 billion, followed by Delhi, with a total wealth of $450 billion. 


India's cinema industry produces the largest number of feature films in the world.


India is the world's second most populated country, after China. 


India's population is over 1.3 billion - a fifth of the world's population.


Religious affiliation is reported as of 2011:
Hindu 79.8%
Muslim 14.2%
Christian 2.3%
Sikh 1.7%
other and unspecified 2%.


Unfortunately, Christians in India live as a discriminated minority. 


Christian persecution has increased sharply since 2014, with the election of President Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party -- the political arm of the Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.


Though largely ignored by Western media, in 2019, India ranked the 10th worst nation persecuting Christians, as listed on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List.


During the era of Queen Victoria's rule, Rudyard Kipling was born in India on December 30, 1865, in the city of Mumbai, which the British called Bombay.


His grandparents on both sides were Methodist ministers. At the age of 5, Rudyard Kipling was sent back to England for schooling.


Poor eyesight ended young Kipling's hopes of a British military career and in 1882, at the age of 16, Kipling returned to India as a journalist.


He wrote for The Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, and in 1886, published his first collection Departmental Ditties.


At the age of 22, Kipling published numerous collections of stories:  
 - Plain Tales from the Hills; 
 - Soldiers Three; 
 - The Story of the Gadsbys; 
 - In Black and White;
 - Under the Deodars;
 - The Phantom Rickshaw; 
 - Wee Willie Winkie.


In 1889, Kipling left India and traveled to Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan, finally landing in San Francisco.


Kipling traveled across the United States to New York, where he met Mark Twain. He fell in love with his friend's sister, Caroline Balestier.


Rudyard and Caroline married in 1892 and settled in Vermont, where two of their children were born.


Rudyard Kipling wrote captivating stories, such as:


 - The Jungle Book, 1894;  
 - The Man Who Would Be King, 1888;  
 - Kim, 1901; 
 - Gunga Din, 1890; 
 - Mandalay, 1890; 
 - Baa Baa Black Sheep, Georgie Porgie, and 
Captains Courageous, 1897. 


In 1896, Kipling moved his family back to England.


In 1898, they began what would become a yearly winter holiday in South Africa. There, Kipling gained first hand knowledge of the Boer War, in which Sir Baden-Powell fought.


Kipling declined King George the Fifth's offer of knighthood, Poet Laureate and Order of Merit, though he accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.


Kipling's daughter Josephine died of pneumonia at age six. His son, John, was killed in World War One at the Battle of Loos in 1915. He was 18 years old. 


In "Recessional," 1897, Kipling wrote:


"Far-called, our navies melt away;  
On dune and headland sinks the fire: 
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday 
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! 
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet. 
Lest we forget--lest we forget!" 


In "The Conundrum of the Workshops," Rudyard Kipling wrote:


"Now, if we could win to the Eden Tree where the Four Great Rivers flow, 
And the Wreath of Eve is red on the turf as she left it long ago, 
And if we could come when the sentry slept and softly scurry through, 
By the favor of God we might know as much--as our father Adam knew!" 


In "The Last Chantey," Rudyard Kipling wrote:


"Then cried the soul of the stout Apostle Paul to God: 
'Once we frapped a ship, and she labored woundily. 
There were fourteen score of these, 
And they blessed Thee on their knees, 
When they learned Thy Grace and Glory under Malta by the sea!'"


Ronald Reagan, upon ending his term as President of the United States, gave a speech, December 13, 1988, in which he quoted Rudyard Kipling:


"As I prepare to lay down the mantle of office ... I cannot help believe that what Rudyard Kipling said of another time and place is true today for America: 'We are at the opening verse of the opening page of the chapter of endless possibilities.' Thank you, and God bless you."


Having been born in India, Kipling wrote in his Ballad of East and West:


"Oh, East is East, and West is West, 
and never the two shall meet, 
Till Earth and Sky stand presently 
at God's great Judgment Seat;


But there is neither East nor West, 
Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, 
When two strong men stand face to face, 
tho' they come from the ends of the earth."


A poem titled "IF" was written by Rudyard Kipling in 1895, and first published in Rewards and Fairies, 1910:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run--
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And--which is more--you'll be a Man my son!
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  • Kevin Maxwell on

    Thank you Mr. Federer for all this historical information that you send me! I greatly appreciate it and I’m receiving an awesome education!

  • Kevin Long on

    “If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—”
    Mr. Federer’s "American Minute is always sixty seconds’ of worthy distance run.
    What a fantanstic compression of history and connections. Thank Mr. Federer

  • DaveV on

    Wonderful history research

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