I think Jon hits the nail on the head saying, “Kipling is often thought of as an imperialist snob, which indeed he was to some degree. But he was a very complicated, contradictory man who was also fascinated by the idea of the outsider becoming naturalised. He was himself always something of an outsider as an Anglo-Indian, never quite fitting in anywhere. This song, very much like Sir Richard’s Song, sums up that process and makes a strong case for home being where the heart is, not where the birth certificate or passport designates it.”
It would be easy to wade into Kipling’s association between the Roman Empire and the British Empire with the latter taking the place of the former at the heart of things. But it’s the little details that make this more human and actually rather moving. Bellamy did a great job of setting these poems, but I’ve said before they have a natural fit as lyrics, albeit very smart ones, for songs.