His wrong's your wrong, and 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 or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot--and after!

This is from “The Thousandth Man” by Kipling.

I don’t understand the meaning of the sentences below.

  • and back it in all men's sight
  • To the gallows-foot--and after!

Am glad if somebody kindly teach me.

1 Answer 1


The verse is about loyalty above all else. To back something is to openly agree with and support it. So the first three lines say whatever your ally says or does, you should support, whether he is right or wrong. In fact you should openly support it (back it) in full public view (standing up.)

The gallows foot is the staircase leading up to a gallows - a platform for hanging people. "And after" means you should walk right up the stairs and put your neck in the noose with your ally.

This line addresses the question "What if supporting my ally could get me killed - then what?" Easy answer - you keep backing him all the way to your mutual hanging.

  • Thank you so much for your answer! Now I understand so well/ Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 6:36

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