The Thousandth Man

by Bro.'. Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

 

One man in a thousand, Solomon says,

Will stick more close than a brother.

And it's worth while seeking him half your days

If you find him before the other.

Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend

On what the world sees in you,

But the Thousandth man will stand your friend

With the whole round world agin' you.

 

'Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show

Will settle the finding for 'ee.

Nine hundred and ninety-nine of 'em go

By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.

But if he finds you and you find him.

The rest of the world don't matter;

For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim

With you in any water.

 

You can use his purse with no more talk

Than he uses yours for his spendings,

And laugh and meet in your daily walk

As though there had been no lendings.

Nine hundred and ninety-nine of 'em call

For silver and gold in their dealings;

But the Thousandth Man he's worth 'em all,

Because you can show him your feelings.

 

His wrong's your wrong, and his right's your right,

In season or out of season.

Stand up and back it in all men's sight

With that for your only reason!

Nine hundred and ninety-nine can't bide

The shame or mocking or laughter,

But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side

To the gallows-foot and after!

 

 

 

         

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