Sunday, September 4, 2011

Question 770: Gun-go Goodies

The name "__X__" is a literary reference to the poem __X__ by Rudyard Kipling. The poem is a rhyming narrative from the point of view of a British soldier, about a native water-bearer (a "bhisti") who saves the soldier's life but dies himself.
This poem is perhaps best known for its often-quoted last stanza:
"Tho' I've belted you and flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, __X__!"
Like several Kipling poems, it celebrates the virtues of a non-European while revealing the racism of a colonial infantryman who views people such as the native water-bearer as being of a "lower order". The poem was published as one of the set of martial poems called the Barrack-Room Ballads.