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My Boy Jack

By Rudyard Kipling

Written in 1915, after Kipling's 18-year-old son was killed in the First World War.

Have you news of my boy Jack?
Not this tide.
When dyou think that hell come back?
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

Has any one else had word of him?
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind —
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!