The Thousandth Man
By: Rudyard Kipling
One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worth while seeking him half your days
I 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 o ‘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 more talk
Than he uses yours or his spending
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 or 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, 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 laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot-----and after!