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Rudyard kipling

Rudyard Kipling


FATHER, Mother, and Me
Sister and Auntie say
All the people like us are We,
And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea,
While We live over the way,
But —would you believe it? —They look upon We
As only a sort of They!
We eat pork and beef
With cow—horn—handled knives.
They who gobble Their rice off a leaf,
Are horrified out of Their lives;
And They who live up a tree,
And feast on grubs and clay,
(Isn’t it scandalous?) look upon We
As a simply disgusting They!

We shoot birds with a gun.
They stick lions with spears.
Their full—dress is un—.
We dress up to Our ears.
They like Their friends for tea.
We like Our friends to stay;
And, after all that, They look upon We
As an utterly ignorant They!

We eat kitcheny food.
We have doors that latch.
They drink milk or blood,
Under an open thatch.
We have Doctors to fee.
They have Wizards to pay.
And (impudent heathen!) They look upon We
As a quite impossible They!

All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!

Delilah Aberyswith was a lady– not too young –
With a perfect taste in dresses and a badly—bitted tongue,
With a thirst for information, and a greater thirst for praise,
And a little house in Simla in the Prehistoric Days.

By reason of her marriage to a gentleman in power,
Delilah was acquainted with the gossip of the hour;
And many little secrets, of the half—official kind,
Were whispered to Delilah, and she bore them all in mind.

She patronized extensively a man, Ulysses Gunne,
Whose mode of earning money was a low and shameful one.
He wrote for certain papers, which, as everybody knows,
Is worse than serving in a shop or scaring off the crows.

He praised her “queenly beauty” first; and, later on, he hinted
At the “vastness of her intellect” with compliment unstinted.
He went with her a—riding, and his love for her was such
That he lent her all his horses and —she galled them very much.

One day, THEY brewed a secret of a fine financial sort;
It related to Appointments, to a Man and a Report.
'Twas almost worth the keeping,– only seven people knew it –
And Gunne rose up to seek the truth and patiently ensue it.

It was a Viceroy’s Secret, but– perhaps the wine was red –
Perhaps an Aged Councillor had lost his aged head —
Perhaps Delilah’s eyes were bright —Delilah’s whispers sweet —
The Aged Member told her what 'twere treason to repeat.

Ulysses went a—riding, and they talked of love and flowers;
Ulysses went a—calling, and he called for several hours;
Ulysses went a—waltzing, and Delilah helped him dance —
Ulysses let the waltzes go, and waited for his chance.

The summer sun was setting, and the summer air was still,
The couple went a—walking in the shade of Summer Hill.
The wasteful sunset faded out in turkis—green and gold,
Ulysses pleaded softly, and . . . that bad Delilah told!

Next morn, a startled Empire learnt the all—important news;
Next week, the Aged Councillor was shaking in his shoes.
Next month, I met Delilah and she did not show the least
Hesitation in affirming that Ulysses was a “beast.”

We have another Viceroy now, those days are dead and done —
Off, Delilah Aberyswith and most mean Ulysses Gunne!

0h, 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;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!
Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border side,
And he has lifted the Colonel’s mare that is the Colonel’s pride.
He has lifted her out of the stable—door between the dawn and day
And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away.

Then up and spoke the Colonel’s son that led a troop of the Guides
Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides? “
Then up and spoke Mohammed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar:
”If ye know the track of the morning—mist, ye know where his pickets are.
“At dusk he harries the Abazai —at dawn he is into Bonair,
”But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place to fare.
“So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird can fly,
”By the favour of God ye may cut him off ere he win to the Tongue of Jagai.
“But if he be past the Tongue of Jagai, right swiftly turn ye then,
”For the length and the breadth of that grisly plain is sown with Kamal’s men.
“There is rock to the left, and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between,
”And ye may hear a breech—bolt snick where never a man is seen."

The Colonel’s son has taken horse, and a raw rough dun was he,
With the mouth of a bell and the heart of Hell and the head of a gallows—tree.
The Colonel’s son to the Fort has won, they bid him stay to eat
Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits not long at his meat.
He’s up and away from Fort Bukloh as fast as he can fly,
Till he was aware of his father’s mare in the gut of the Tongue of Jagai,
Till he was aware of his father’s mare with Kamal upon her back,
And when he could spy the white of her eye, he made the Pistol crack.
He has fired once, he has fired twice, but the whistling ball went wide.
Ye shoot like a soldier," Kamal said. “ Show now if ye can ride!
It’s up and over the Tongue of Jagai, as blown dust—devils go
The dun he fled like a stag of ten, but the mare like a barren doe.
The dun he leaned against the bit and slugged his head above,
But the red mare played with the snaffle—bars, as a maiden plays with a glove.
There was rock to the left and rock to the right, and low lean thorn between,
And thrice he heard a breech—bolt snick tho’ never a man was seen.

They have ridden the low moon out of the sky, their hoofs drum up the dawn,
The dun he went like a wounded bull, but the mare like a new—roused fawn.
The dun he fell at a water—course– in a woeful heap fell he,
And Kamal. has turned the red mare back, and pulled the rider free.
He has knocked the pistol out of his hand– small room was there to strive,
'Twas only by favour of mine,” quoth he, “ ye rode so long alive:
”There was not a rock for twenty mile, there was not a clump of tree,
“But covered a man of my own men with his rifle cocked on his knee.
”If I had raised my bridle—hand, as I have held it low,
“The little jackals that flee so fast were feasting all in a row.
”If I had bowed my head on my breast, as I have held it high,
“The kite that whistles above us now were gorged till she could not fly.”
Lightly answered the Colonel’s son: “Do good to bird and beast,
”But count who come for the broken meats before thou makest a feast.
“If there should follow a thousand swords to carry my bones away.
”Belike the price of a jackal’s meal were more than a thief could pay.
“They will feed their horse on the standing crop, their men on the garnered grain.
”The thatch of the byres will serve their fires when all the cattle are slain.
“But if thou thinkest the price be fair —thy brethren wait to sup,
”The hound is kin to the jackal—spawn —howl, dog, and call them up!
“And if thou thinkest the price be high, in steer and gear and stack,
”Give me my father’s mare again, and I’ll fight my own way back! “

Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him upon his feet.
”No talk shall be of dogs," said he, “when wolf and grey wolf meet.
”May I eat dirt if thou hast hurt of me in deed or breath;
“What dam of lances brought thee forth to jest at the dawn with Death?”
Lightly answered the Colonel’s son: “ I hold by the blood of my clan:
Take up the mare for my father’s gift —by God, she has carried a man!”
The red mare ran to the Colonel’s son, and nuzzled against his breast;
“We be two strong men,” said Kamal then, “ but she loveth the younger best.
”So she shall go with a lifter’s dower, my turquoise—studded rein,
“My 'broidered saddle and saddle—cloth, and silver stirrup twain.”
The Colonel’s son a pistol drew, and held it muzzle—end,
“Ye have taken the one from a foe,” said he. “ Will ye take the mate from a friend? ”
“A gift for a gift,” said Kamal straight; “a limb for the risk of a limb.
”Thy father has sent his son to me, I’ll send my son to him!"
With that he whistled his only son, that dropped from a mountain—crest
He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he looked like a lance in rest.
“Now here is thy master,” Kamal said, “who leads a troop of the Guides,
”And thou must ride at his left side as shield on shoulder rides.
“Till Death or I cut loose the tie, at camp and board and bed,
”Thy life is his —thy fate it is to guard him with thy head.
“So, thou must eat the White Queen’s meat, and all her foes are thine,
”And thou must harry thy father’s hold for the peace of the Border—line.
“And thou must make a trooper tough and hack thy way to power
”Belike they will raise thee to Ressaldar when I am hanged in Peshawur! “

They have looked each other between the eyes, and there they found no fault.
They have taken the Oath of the Brother—in—Blood on leavened bread and salt:
They have taken the Oath of the Brother—in—Blood on fire and fresh—cut sod,
On the hilt and the haft of the Khyber knife, and the Wondrous Names of God.

The Colonel’s son he rides the mare and Kamal’s boy the dun,
And two have come back to Fort Bukloh where there went forth but one.
And when they drew to the Quarter—Guard, full twenty swords flew clear
There was not a man but carried his feud with the blood of the mountaineer.
Ha’ done! ha’ done! ” said the Colonel’s son. “ Put up the steel at your sides!
Last night ye had struck at a Border thief —to—night 't is a man of the Guides! ”

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;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face though they come from the ends of the earth!

I SEEK not what his soul desires.
  He dreads not what my spirit fears.
Our Heavens have shown us separate fires.
  Our dooms have dealt us differing years.

Our daysprings and our timeless dead
  Ordained for us and still control
Lives sundered at the fountain-head,
  And distant, now, as Pole from Pole.

Yet, dwelling thus, these worlds apart,
  When we encounter each is free
To bare that larger, liberal heart
  Our kin and neighbours seldom see.

(Custom and code compared in jest–
  Weakness delivered without shame–
And certain common sins confessed
  Which all men know, and none dare blame.)

E’en so it is, and well content
  It should be so a moment’s space,
Each finds the other excellent,
  And-runs to follow his own race!

When the flush of a new—born sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold,
Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;
And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, “It’s pretty, but is it Art?”

Wherefore he called to his wife, and fled to fashion his work anew —
The first of his race who cared a fig for the first, most dread review;
And he left his lore to the use of his sons —and that was a glorious gain
When the Devil chuckled “Is it Art?” in the ear of the branded Cain.

They fought and they talked in the North and the South, they talked and
they fought in the West,
Till the waters rose on the pitiful land, and the poor Red Clay had rest —
Had rest till that dank blank—canvas dawn when the dove was preened to start,
And the Devil bubbled below the keel: “It’s human, but is it Art?”

They builded a tower to shiver the sky and wrench the stars apart,
Till the Devil grunted behind the bricks: “It’s striking, but is it Art?”
The stone was dropped at the quarry—side and the idle derrick swung,
While each man talked of the aims of Art, and each in an alien tongue.

The tale is as old as the Eden Tree —and new as the new—cut tooth —
For each man knows ere his lip—thatch grows he is master of Art and Truth;
And each man hears as the twilight nears, to the beat of his dying heart,
The Devil drum on the darkened pane: “You did it, but was it Art?”

We have learned to whittle the Eden Tree to the shape of a surplice—peg,
We have learned to bottle our parents twain in the yolk of an addled egg,
We know that the tail must wag the dog, for the horse is drawn by the cart;
But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: “It’s clever, but is it Art?”

When the flicker of London sun falls faint on the Club—room’s green and gold,
The sons of Adam sit them down and scratch with their pens in the mould —
They scratch with their pens in the mould of their graves, and the ink and the anguish start,
For the Devil mutters behind the leaves: “It’s pretty, but is it Art?”

Now, if we could win to the Eden Tree where the Four Great Rivers flow,
And the Wreath of Eve is red on the turf as she left it long ago,
And if we could come when the sentry slept and softly scurry through,
By the favour of God we might know as much —as our father Adam knew!

Jelaludin Muhammed Akbar, Guardian of Mankind,
Moved his standards out of Delhi to Jaunpore of lower Hind,
Where a mosque was to be builded, and a lovelier ne’er was planned;
And Munim Khan, his Viceroy, slid the drawings 'neath his hand.

High as Hope upsheered her out—works to the promised Heavens above.
Deep as Faith and dark as Judgment her unplumbed foundations dove.
Wide as Mercy, white as moonlight, stretched her forecourts to the dawn;
And Akbar gave commandment, “Let it rise as it is drawn.”

Then he wearied—the mood moving—of the men and things he ruled,
And he walked beside the Goomti while the flaming sunset cooled,
Simply, without mark or ensign—singly, without guard or guide,
Till he heard an angry woman screeching by the river—side.

'Twas the Widow of the Potter, a virago feared and known,
In haste to cross the ferry, but the ferry—man had gone.
So she cursed him and his office, and hearing Akbar’s tread,
(She was very old and darkling) turned her wrath upon his head.

But he answered—being Akbar—"Suffer me to scull you o’er."
Called her “Mother,” stowed her bundles, worked the clumsy scow from shore,
Till they grounded on a sand—bank, and the Widow loosed her mind;
And the stars stole out and chuckled at the Guardian of Mankind.

“Oh, most impotent of bunglers! Oh, my daughter’s daughter’s brood
Waiting hungry on the threshold; for I cannot bring their food,
Till a fool has learned his business at their virtuous grandam’s cost,
And a greater fool, our Viceroy, trifles while her name is lost!

”Munim Khan, that Sire of Asses, sees me daily come and go
As it suits a drunken boatman, or this ox who cannot row.
Munim Khan, the Owl’s Own Uncle—Munim Khan, the Capon’s seed,
Must build a mosque to Allah when a bridge is all we need!

“Eighty years I eat oppression and extortion and delays—
Snake and crocodile and fever, flood and drouth, beset my ways.
But Munim Khan must tax us for his mosque whate’er befall;
Allah knowing (May He hear me!) that a bridge would save us all!”

While she stormed that other laboured and, when they touched the shore,
Laughing brought her on his shoulder to her hovel’s very door.
But his mirth renewed her anger, for she thought he mocked the weak;
So she scored him with her talons, drawing blood on either cheek....

Jelaludin Muhammed Akbar, Guardian of Mankind,
Spoke with Munim Khan his Viceroy, ere the midnight stars declined—
Girt and sworded, robed and jewelled, but on either cheek appeared
Four shameless scratches running from the turban to the beard.

“Allah burn all Potter’s Widows! Yet, since this same night was young,
One has shown me by pure token, there was a wisdom on her tongue.
Yes, I ferried her for hire. Yes,” he pointed, “I was paid.”
And he told the tale rehearsing all the Widow did and said.

And he ended, “Sire of Asses—Capon—Owl’s Own Uncle—know
I—most impotent of bunglers—I—this ox who cannot row—
I—Jelaludin Muhammed Akbar, Guardian of Mankind—
Bid thee build the hag her bridge and put our mosque from out thy mind.”

So 'twas built, and Allah blessed it; and, through earthquake, flood, and sword,
Still the bridge his Viceroy builded throws her arch o’er Akbar’s Ford!

There are whose study is of smells,
  And to attentive schools rehearse
How something mixed with something else
  Makes something worse.

Some cultivate in broths impure
  The clients of our body—these,
Increasing without Venus, cure,
  Or cause, disease.

Others the heated wheel extol,
  And all its offspring, whose concern
Is how to make it farthest roll
  And fastest turn.

Me, much incurious if the hour
  Present, or to be paid for, brings
Me to Brundusium by the power
  Of wheels or wings;

Me, in whose breast no flame hath burned
  Life-long, save that by Pindar lit,
Such lore leaves cold. I am not turned
  Aside to it

More than when, sunk in thought profound
  Of what the unaltering Gods require,
My steward (friend but slave) brings round
  Logs for my fire.

WHERE the sober—colored cultivator smiles
 On his byles;
Where the cholera, the cyclone, and the crow
Come and go;
Where the merchant deals in indigo and tea,
Hides and ghi;
Where the Babu drops inflammatory hints
In his prints;
Stands a City—Charnock chose it—packed away
Near a Bay—
By the Sewage rendered fetid, by the sewer
Made impure,
By the Sunderbunds unwholesome, by the swamp
 Moist and damp;
And the City and the Viceroy, as we see,
 Don’t agree.

Once, two hundered years ago, the trader came
Meek and tame.
Where his timid foot first halted, there he stayed,
Till mere trade
Grew to Empire, and he sent his armies forth
South and North
Till the country from Peshawur to Ceylon
Was his own.
Thus the midday halt of Charnock—more’s the pity!—
Grew a City.
As the fungus sprouts chaotic from its bed,
So it spread—
Chance—directed, chance—erected, laid and built
 On the silt—
Palace, byre, hovel—poverty and pride—
Side by side;
And, above the packed and pestilential town,
 Death looked down.

But the Rulers in that City by the Sea
Turned to flee—
Fled, with each returning spring—tide from its ills
To the Hills.
From the clammy fogs of morning, from the blaze
Of old days,
From the sickness of the noontide, from the heat,
 Beat retreat;
For the country from Peshawur to Ceylon
Was their own.
But the Merchant risked the perils of the Plain
For his gain.

Now the resting—place of Charnock, ’neath the palms,
Asks an alms,
And the burden of its lamentation is,
Briefly, this:
“Because for certain months, we boil and stew,
So should you.
Cast the Viceroy and his Council, to perspire
In our fire!”
And for answer to the argument, in vain
We explain
That an amateur Saint Lawrence cannot cry:—
“All must fry!”
That the Merchant risks the perils of the Plain
 For gain.
Nor can Rulers rule a house that men grow rich in,
 From its kitchen.

Let the Babu drop inflammatory hints
In his prints;
And mature—consistent soul—his plan for stealing
To Darjeeling:
Let the Merchant seek, who makes his silver pile,
England’s isle;
Let the City Charnock pitched on—evil day!—
 Go Her way.
Though the argosies of Asia at Her doors
Heap their stores,
Though Her enterprise and energy secure
 Income sure,
Though “out—station orders punctually obeyed”
Swell Her trade—
Still, for rule, administration, and the rest,
Simla’s best.

THE white moth to the closing bine,
The bee to the opened clover,
And the gipsy blood to the gipsy blood
Ever the wide world over.

Ever the wide world over, lass,
Ever the trail held true,
Over the world and under the world,
And back at the last to you.

Out of the dark of the gorgio camp,
Out of the grime and the grey
(Morning waits at the end of the world),
Gipsy, come away!

The wild boar to the sun—dried swamp,
The red crane to her reed,
And the Romany lass to the Romany lad,
By the tie of a roving breed.

The pied snake to the rifted rock,
The buck to the stony plain,
And the Romany lass to the Romany lad,
And both to the road again.

Both to the road again, again!
Out on a clean sea—track —
Follow the cross of the gipsy trail
Over the world and back!

Follow the Romany patteran
North where the blue bergs sail,
And the bows are grey with the frozen spray,
And the masts are shod with mail.

Follow the Romany patteran
Sheer to the Austral Light,
Where the besom of God is the wild South wind,
Sweeping the sea—floors white.

Follow the Romany patteran
West to the sinking sun,
Till the junk—sails lift through the houseless drift.
And the east and west are one.

Follow the Romany patteran
East where the silence broods
By a purple wave on an opal beach
In the hush of the Mahim woods.

“The wild hawk to the wind—swept sky,
The deer to the wholesome wold,
And the heart of a man to the heart of a maid,
As it was in the days of old.”

The heart of a man to the heart of a maid —
Light of my tents, be fleet.
Morning waits at the end of the world,
And the world is all at our feet!

“THERE’S no sense in going further —it’s the edge of cultivation,”
So they said, and I believed it– broke my land and sowed my crop –
Built my barns and strung my fences in the little border station
Tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and stop:

Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated —so:
“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges —
”Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!"

So I went, worn out of patience; never told my nearest neighbours—
Stole away with pack and ponies– left 'em drinking in the town;
And the faith that moveth mountains didn’t seem to help my labours
As I faced the sheer main—ranges, whipping up and leading down.

March by march I puzzled through 'em, turning flanks and dodging shoulders,
Hurried on in hope of water, headed back for lack of grass;
Till I camped above the tree—line– drifted snow and naked boulders –
Felt free air astir to windward —knew I’d stumbled on the Pass.

'Thought to name it for the finder: but that night the Norther found me —
Froze and killed the plains—bred ponies; so I called the camp Despair
(It’s the Railway Gap to—day, though). Then my Whisper waked to hound me: —
“Something lost behind the Ranges. Over yonder! Go you there!”

Then I knew, the while I doubted —knew His Hand was certain o’er me.
Still —it might be self—delusion– scores of better men had died –
I could reach the township living, but ... He knows what terror tore me...
But I didn’t... but I didn’t. I went down the other side.

Till the snow ran out in flowers, and the flowers turned to aloes,
And the aloes sprung to thickets and a brimming stream ran by;
But the thickets dwined to thorn—scrub, and the water drained to shallows,
And I dropped again on desert —blasted earth, and blasting sky....

I remember lighting fires; I remember sitting by ‘em;
I remember seeing faces, hearing voices, through the smoke;
I remember they were fancy —for I threw a stone to try ’em.
“Something lost behind the Ranges” was the only word they spoke.

I remember going crazy. I remember that I knew it
When I heard myself hallooing to the funny folk I saw.
‘Very full of dreams that desert, but my two legs took me through it...
And I used to watch ’em moving with the toes all black and raw.

But at last the country altered —White Man’s country past disputing –
Rolling grass and open timber, with a hint of hills behind—
There I found me food and water, and I lay a week recruiting.
Got my strength and lost my nightmares. Then I entered on my find.

Thence I ran my first rough survey —chose my trees and blazed and ringed ‘em –
Week by week I pried and sampled– week by week my findings grew.
Saul he went to look for donkeys, and by God he found a kingdom!
But by God, who sent His Whisper, I had struck the worth of two!

Up along the hostile mountains, where the hair—poised snowslide shivers —
Down and through the big fat marshes that the virgin ore—bed stains,
Till I heard the mile—wide mutterings of unimagined rivers,
And beyond the nameless timber saw illimitable plains!

’Plotted sites of future cities, traced the easy grades between ‘em;
Watched unharnessed rapids wasting fifty thousand head an hour;
Counted leagues of water—frontage through the axe—ripe woods that screen ’em –
Saw the plant to feed a people– up and waiting for the power!

Well, I know who’ll take the credit– all the clever chaps that followed –
Came, a dozen men together —never knew my desert—fears;
Tracked me by the camps I’d quitted, used the water—holes I hollowed.
They’ll go back and do the talking. They’ll be called the Pioneers!

They will find my sites of townships– not the cities that I set there.
They will rediscover rivers– not my rivers heard at night.
By my own old marks and bearings they will show me how to get there,
By the lonely cairns I builded they will guide my feet aright.

Have I named one single river? Have I claimed one single acre?
Have I kept one single nugget —(barring samples)? No, not I!
Because my price was paid me ten times over by my Maker.
But you wouldn’t understand it. You go up and occupy.

Ores you’ll find there; wood and cattle; water—transit sure and steady
(That should keep the railway rates down), coal and iron at your doors.
God took care to hide that country till He judged His people ready,
Then He chose me for His Whisper, and I’ve found it, and it’s yours!

Yes, your “Never—never country” —yes, your “edge of cultivation”
And “no sense in going further” —till I crossed the range to see.
God forgive me! No, I didn’t. It’s God’s present to our nation.
Anybody might have found it, but —His Whisper came to Me!

WITH those that bred, with those that loosed the strife,
He had no part whose hands were clear of gain;
But subtle, strong, and stubborn, gave his life
To a lost cause, and knew the gift was vain.

Later shall rise a people, sane and great,
Forged in strong fires, by equal war made one;
Telling old battles over without hate—
Not least his name shall pass from sire to son.

He may not meet the onsweep of our van
In the doomed city when we close the score;
Yet o’er his grave—his grave that holds a man—
Our deep—tongued guns shall answer his once more!

So long as 'neath the Kalka hills
  The tonga-horn shall ring,
So long as down the Solon dip
  The hard-held ponies swing,
So long as Tara Devi sees
  The lights of Simla town,
So long as Pleasure calls us up,
  Or Duty drivese us down,
   If you love me as I love you
    What pair so happy as we two?

So long as Aces take the King,
  Or backers take the bet,
So long as debt leads men to wed,
  Or marriage leads to debt,
So long as little luncheons, Love,
  And scandal hold their vogue,
While there is sport at Annandale
  Or whisky at Jutogh,
   If you love me as I love you
    What knife can cut our love in two?

So long as down the rocking floor
  The raving polka spins,
So long as Kitchen Lancers spur
  The maddened violins,
So long as through the whirling smoke
  We hear the oft-told tale —
“Twelve hundred in the Lotteries,”
  And Whatshername for sale?
   If you love me as I love you
    We’ll play the game and win it too.

So long as Lust or Lucre tempt
  Straight riders from the course,
So long as with each drink we pour
  Black brewage of Remorse,
So long as those unloaded guns
  We keep beside the bed,
Blow off, by obvious accident,
  The lucky owner’s head,
   If you love me as I love you
    What can Life kill of Death undo?

So long as Death 'twixt dance and dance
  Chills best and bravest blood,
And drops the reckless rider down
  The rotten, rain-soaked khud,
So long as rumours from the North
  Make loving wives afraid,
So long as Burma takes the boy
  Or typhoid kills the maid,
   If you love me as I love you
    What knife can cut our love in two?

By all that lights our daily life
  Or works our lifelong woe,
From Boileaugunge to Simla Downs
  And those grim glades below,
Where, heedless of the flying hoof
  And clamour overhead,
Sleep, with the grey langur for guard
  Our very scornful Dead,
   If you love me as I love you
    All Earth is servant to us two!

By Docket, Billetdoux, and File,
  By Mountain, Cliff, and Fir,
By Fan and Sword and Office-box,
  By Corset, Plume, and Spur
By Riot, Revel, Waltz, and War,
  By Women, Work, and Bills,
By all the life that fizzes in
  The everlasting Hills,
    If you love me as I love you
    What pair so happy as we two?