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"You're A Better Man Than I Am, Gunga Din!"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In "Gunga Din" Kipling tells of the water boy who, throughout the most violent battle, is always near whoever needs him to give his precious drink. And yet, very little credit is ever given poor Gunga Din, who has, if ever there was one, a thankless task. Nevertheless, Gunga Din gives up his life in serving those who perpetually scorn him. Kipling declares that, because Din is a heathen, he will surely be giving water to the roasted souls in Hell. Yet the British soldier, who is the speaker in the poem, cannot but admire the unassuming courage of the poor water boy.

'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarrushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you an' flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!