“Oh, East is East, and West is West, And never the twain shall meet, Till earth and sky stand presently, At God’s great judgment seat” wrote Rudyard Kipling in Ballad of East and West.
Born DECEMBER 30, 1865, in Bombay, India, he was sent back to England at age 5 for schooling. Poor eyesight ended hopes of a military career, so at age 16 he returned to India as a journalist, winning acclaim for his poems.
He fell in love with his friend’s sister, Caroline Balestier, while visiting in America. They married and settled in Vermont, where two of their children were born. There he wrote Captains Courageous and The Jungle Books.
Once back in England, he declined King George V’s offer of knighthood, Poet Laureate and Order of Merit, though accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.
His works include: Kim, Wee Willie Winkie, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Gunga Din.
President Reagan said, December 13, 1988:
As I prepare to lay down the mantle of office…I cannot help believe that what Rudyard Kipling said of another time and place is true today for America:
‘We are at the opening verse of the opening page of the chapter of endless possibilities.’ Thank you, and God bless you.
Self-Educated American contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.