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A Reply to Rudyard Kipling's Poem Entitled: “For All We Have and Are.”


IS yours the only right?

Is yours the only law?

Must all men bow before

The menace of your might?

And crossing England’s ways

Submit them to her hate,

Who blasts them with a phrase:

“The Hun is at the gate.”

The old commandments stand

For Teuton as for ye,

To nerve his cause and hand

To keep him strong and free.

Again the sword ye draw

That ye have drawn of old,

That profit come of war,

That ye may have and hold

The Seven Seas alone,

The trader’s golden fruit

The while the Teutons groan

Beneath the Cossack knout.

Does not the Teuton leave

His hostages to fate?

Does not the Teuton grieve:

“The Hun is at the gate!”

May not on the Most High

In prayer the Teuton call?

Or is He England’s God

And not the God of all?

The old commandments stand

For Teuton as for ye,

To nerve his cause and hand.

To keep him strong and free.

Is not the Teuton’s goal

The same as that ye claim?

The tears that wring his soul

Are they in him a shame?

The Teuton fights for all

For freedom, culture, right;

Then what if England fall,

The world shall still have light!

Martens, Frederick H. “Is Yours the Only Law?” The Fatherland 1, no. 7 (September 23, 1914): 12.

Martens, Frederick H. “Is Yours the Only Law?” The Fatherland 1, no. 7 (September 23, 1914): 12.


For All We Have and Are

Born in India, Rudyard Kipling (1876–1936) was schooled in England but returned to India in 1892, where he worked as a journalist and published collections of short stories about India. Because of these and his novel, Kim (1901), Kipling became known as “the laureate of empire.” He was the first British writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (1907). Kipling wrote “For All we have and are” in August 1914 to “rouse the British into embracing the war that had been initiated by the German attack on Belgium.” His pejorative use of “Hun” may be a reference to a speech given in 1900 by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who encouraged German soldiers to become the Huns of the 20th century in China.

Matin, A. Michael. “‘The Hun is at the Gate!’: Historicizing Kipling’s Militaristic Rhetoric, from the Imperial Periphery to the National Center: Part One: The Russian Threat to British India.” Studies in the Novel 31, no. 3 (1999): 317–56. http://www.jstor.org/stable/29533344.

Kipling, Rudyard. “For All We Have and Are.” In The Years Between, 20–22. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1919. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044086830403&view=1up&seq=50.



Teuton usually denotes ancient Germanic peoples who in 113–101 BC devasted Gaul and threatened the Roman republic. In a more general ethnic sense, a person speaking a Germanic language.

“Teuton, n.” OED Online, June 2021. Oxford University Press. https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/199961?redirectedFrom=teuton.


Cossack knout

Cossacks were a warlike Turkish people from Ukraine and southern Russia known for their horsemanship and military skill. The term is used here as a reference to Russia and fighting on the Eastern Front. A knout is a type of whip or scourge, used in Imperial Russia as an instrument of punishment.

Peeling, Siobhan. “Cossacks.” In 1914–1918–online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, edited by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson. Freie Universität Berlin, 2014–. Article published October 8, 2014. https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/cossacks.