or enter with:    Forgot your password? | Signup
or enter with:
Rudyard kipling

Rudyard Kipling


‘What are the bugles blowin’ for?' said Files—on—Parade.  
‘To turn you out, to turn you out,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
‘What makes you look so white, so white?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘I’m dreadin’ what I’ve got to watch,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
      For they’re hangin’ Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
      The Regiment’s in ’ollow square—they’re hangin’ him to—day;
      They’ve taken of his buttons off an’ cut his stripes away,
      An’ they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.

‘What makes the rear—rank breathe so ’ard?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘It’s bitter cold, it’s bitter cold,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
‘What makes that front—rank man fall down?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘A touch o’ sun, a touch o’ sun,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
      They are hangin’ Danny Deever, they are marchin’ of ’im round,
      They ’ave ’alted Danny Deever by ’is coffin on the ground;
      An’ ’e’ll swing in ’arf a minute for a sneakin’ shootin’ hound—
      O they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin!’

‘’Is cot was right—’and cot to mine,’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘’E’s sleepin’ out an’ far to—night,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
‘I’ve drunk ’is beer a score o’ times,’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘’E’s drinkin’ bitter beer alone,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
      They are hangin’ Danny Deever, you must mark ’im to ’is place,
      For ’e shot a comrade sleepin’—you must look ’im in the face;
      Nine ’undred of ’is county an’ the Regiment’s disgrace,  
      While they’re hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’.

‘What’s that so black agin the sun?’ said Files—on—Parade.  
‘It’s Danny fightin’ ’ard for life,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.  
‘What’s that that whimpers over’ead?’ said Files—on—Parade.
‘It’s Danny’s soul that’s passin’ now,’ the Colour—Sergeant said.
      For they’re done with Danny Deever, you can ’ear the quickstep play,
      The Regiment’s in column, an’ they’re marchin’ us away;
      Ho! the young recruits are shakin’, an’ they’ll want their beer to—day,
      After hangin’ Danny Deever in the mornin’!

WHEN the cabin port—holes are dark and green
Because of the seas outside;
When the ship goes wop (with a wiggle between)
And the steward falls into the soup—tureen,
And the trunks begin to slide;
When Nursey lies on the floor in a heap,
And Mummy tells you to let her sleep,
And you aren’t waked or washed or dressed,
Why, then you will know (if you haven’t guessed)
You’re “Fifty North and Forty West!”

About the time that taverns shut
And men can buy no beer,
Two lads went up to the keepers’ hut
To steal Lord Pelham’s deer.

Night and the liquor was in their heads —
They laughed and talked no bounds,
Till they waked the keepers on their beds
And the keepers loosed the hounds.

They had killed a hart, they had killed a hind,
Ready to carry away,
When they heard a whimper down the wind
And they heard a bloodhound bay.

They took and ran across the fern,
 Their crossbows in their hand,
Till they met a man with a green lantern
That called and bade 'em stand.

“What are ye doing, O Flesh and Blood,
 And what’s your foolish will,
That you must break into Minepit Wood
And wake the Folk of the Hill?”

“Oh, we’ve broke into Lord Pelham’s park,
And killed Lord Pelham’s deer,
And if ever you heard a little dog bark
You’ll know why we come here.

”We ask you let us go our way,
As fast as we can flee,
For if ever you heard a bloodhound bay
You’ll know how pressed we be."

“Oh, lay your crossbows on the bank
And drop the knives from your hand,
And though the hounds be at your flank
I’ll save you where you stand!”

They laid their crossbows on the bank,
They threw their knives in the wood,
And the ground before them opened and sank
And saved 'em where they stood.

“Oh, what’s the roaring in our ears
 That strikes us well—nigh dumb?”
“Oh, that is just how things appears
 According as they come.”

“What are the stars before our eyes
That strike us well—nigh blind?”
“Oh, that is just how things arise
According as you find.”

“And why’s our bed so hard to the bones
Excepting where it’s cold?”
“Oh, that’s because it is precious stones
 Excepting where 'tis gold.

”Think it over as you stand,
For I tell you without fail,
If you haven’t got into Fairyland
You’re not in Lewes Gaol."

All night long they thought of it,
And, come the dawn, they saw
They’d tumbled into a great old pit,
At the bottom of Minepit Shaw.

And the keeper’s hound had followed 'em close,
And broke her neck in the fall;
So they picked up their knives and their crossbows
And buried the dog. That’s all.

But whether the man was a poacher too
Or a Pharisee’ so bold —
I reckon there’s more things told than are true.
And more things true than are told.

AFTER the fight at Otterburn,
 "Before the ravens came,
The Witch—wife rode across the fern
 And spoke Earl Percy’s name.

“Stand up—stand up, Northumberland!
 I bid you answer true,
If England’s King has under his hand
 A Captain as good as you?”

Then up and spake the dead Percy—
 Oh, but his wound was sore!
“Five hundred Captains as good,” said he,
 “And I trow five hundred more.

“But I pray you by the lifting skies,
 And the young wind over the grass,
That you take your eyes from off my eyes,
 And let my spirit pass.”

“Stand up—stand up, Northumberland!
 I charge you answer true,
If ever you dealt in steel and brand,
 How went the fray with you?”

“Hither and yon,” the Percy said;
 “As every fight must go;
For some they fought and some they fled,
 And some struck ne’er a blow.

“But I pray you by the breaking skies,
 And the first call from the nest,
That you turn your eyes away from my eyes,
 And let me to my rest.”

“Stand up—stand up, Northumberland!
 I will that you answer true,
If you and your men were quick again,
 How would it be with you?”

“Oh, we would speak of hawk and hound,
 And the red deer where they rove,
And the merry foxes the country round,
 And the maidens that we love.

“We would not speak of steel or steed,
 Except to grudge the cost;
And he that had done the doughtiest deed
 Would mock himself the most.

“But I pray you by my keep and tower,
 And the tables in my hall,
And I pray you by my lady’s bower
 (Ah, bitterest of all!)

“That you lift your eyes from outen my eyes,
 Your hand from off my breast,
And cover my face from the red sun—rise,
 And loose me to my rest!”

She has taken her eyes from out of his eyes—
 Her palm from off his breast,
And covered his face from the red sun—rise,
 And loosed him to his rest.

“Sleep you, or wake, Northumberland—
 You shall not speak again,
And the word you have said ’twixt quick and dead
 I lay on Englishmen.

“So long as Severn runs to West
 Or Humber to the East,
That they who bore themselves the best
 Shall count themselves the least.

“While there is fighting at the ford,
 Or flood along the Tweed,
That they shall choose the lesser word
 To cloke the greater deed.

“After the quarry and the kill—
 The fair fight and the fame—
With an ill face and an ill grace
 Shall they rehearse the same.

“’Greater the deed, greater the need
 Lightly to laugh it away,
Shall be the mark of the English breed
 Until the Judgment Day!”

BY THE old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a—settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm—trees, and the temple—bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! ”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you 'ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’—fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!
’Er petticoat was yaller an’ 'er little cap was green,
An’ 'er name was Supi—yaw—lat —jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a—smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a—wastin’ Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay...

When the mist was on the rice—fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git 'er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla—lo—lo!
With 'er arm upon my shoulder an’ 'er cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a—pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ‘ung that ’eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay...

But that’s all shove be’ind me —long ago an’ fur away
An’ there ain’t no 'busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ 'ere in London what the ten—year soldier tells:
”If you’ve 'eard the East a—callin’, you won’t never 'eed naught else."
No! you won’t 'eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm—trees an’ the tinkly temple—bells;
On the road to Mandalay...

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’—stones,
An’ the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby 'and —
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay...

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple—bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’—fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!


I’VE NEVER sailed the Amazon,
I’ve never reached Brazil;
But the Don and Magdalena,
They can go there when they will!

   Yes, weekly from Southampton,
   Great steamers, white and gold,
   Go rolling down to Rio
   (Roll down—roll down to Rio!)
   And I’d like to roll to Rio
   Some day before I’m old!

I’ve never seen a Jaguar,
 Nor yet an Armadill
O dilloing in his armour,
And I s’pose I never will,

   Unless I go to Rio
   These wonders to behold
   Roll down—roll down to Rio
   Roll really down to Rio!
   Oh, I’d love to roll to Rio
   Some day before I’m old!

IN EXTENDED observation of the ways and works of man,
From the Four—mile Radius roughly to the Plains of Hindustan:
I have drunk with mixed assemblies, seen the racial ruction rise,
And the men of half Creation damning half Creation’s eyes.

I have watched them in their tantrums, all that Pentecostal crew,
French, Italian, Arab, Spaniard, Dutch and Greek, and Russ and Jew,
Celt and savage, buff and ochre, cream and yellow, mauve and white,
But it never really mattered till the English grew polite;

Till the men with polished toppers, till the men in long frock—coats,
Till the men who do not duel, till the men who war with votes,
Till the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Lawrence took his grid,
Began to “beg your pardon” and—the knowing croupier hid.

Then the bandsmen with their fiddles, and the girls that bring the beer,
Felt the psychological moment, left the lit Casino clear;
But the uninstructed alien, from the Teuton to the Gaul,
Was entrapped, once more, my country, by that suave, deceptive drawl.

As it was in ancient Suez or 'neath wilder, milder skies,
I “observe with apprehension” how the racial ructions rise;
And with keener apprehension, if I read the times aright,
Hear the old Casino order: "Watch your man, but be polite.

“Keep your temper. Never answer (that was why they spat and swore).
Don’t hit first, but move together (there’s no hurry) to the door.
Back to back, and facing outward while the linguist tells 'em how —
`Nous sommes allong ar notre batteau, nous ne voulong pas un row.'"

So the hard, pent rage ate inward, till some idiot went too far...
“Let 'em have it!” and they had it, and the same was merry war —
Fist, umbrella, cane, decanter, lamp and beer—mug, chair and boot —
Till behind the fleeing legions rose the long, hoarse yell for loot.

Then the oil—cloth with its numbers, like a banner fluttered free;
Then the grand piano cantered, on three castors, down the quay;
White, and breathing through their nostrils, silent, systematic, swift —
They removed, effaced, abolished all that man could heave or lift.

Oh, my country, bless the training that from cot to castle runs —
The pitfall of the stranger but the bulwark of thy sons —
Measured speech and ordered action, sluggish soul and unperturbed,
Till we wake our Island—Devil—nowise cool for being curbed!

When the heir of all the ages “has the honour to remain,”
When he will not hear an insult, though men make it ne’er so plain,
When his lips are schooled to meekness, when his back is bowed to blows —
Well the keen aas—vogels know it—well the waiting jackal knows.

Build on the flanks of Etna where the sullen smoke—puffs float —
Or bathe in tropic waters where the lean fin dogs the boat —
Cock the gun that is not loaded, cook the frozen dynamite —
But oh, beware my Country, when my Country grows polite!

TO THE legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned,
To my brethren in their sorrow overseas,
Sings a gentleman of England cleanly bred, machinely crammed,
And a trooper of the Empress, if you please.
Yea, a trooper of the forces who has run his own six horses,
And faith he went the pace and went it blind,
And the world was more than kin while he held the ready tin,
But to—day the Sergeant’s something less than kind.
We’re poor little lambs who’ve lost our way,
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We’re little black sheep who’ve gone astray,
 Gentlemen—rankers out on the spree,
 Damned from here to Eternity,
God ha’ mercy on such as we,
Baa! Yah! Bah!

Oh, it’s sweet to sweat through stables, sweet to empty kitchen slops,
And it’s sweet to hear the tales the troopers tell,
To dance with blowzy housemaids at the regimental hops
And thrash the cad who says you waltz too well.
Yes, it makes you cock—a—hoop to be “Rider” to your troop,
And branded with a blasted worsted spur,
When you envy, O how keenly, one poor Tommy being cleanly
Who blacks your boots and sometimes calls you “Sir”.

If the home we never write to, and the oaths we never keep,
And all we know most distant and most dear,
Across the snoring barrack—room return to break our sleep,
 Can you blame us if we soak ourselves in beer?
When the drunken comrade mutters and the great guard—lantern gutters
And the horror of our fall is written plain,
Every secret, self—revealing on the aching white—washed ceiling,
 Do you wonder that we drug ourselves from pain?

We have done with Hope and Honour, we are lost to Love and Truth,
 We are dropping down the ladder rung by rung,
And the measure of our torment is the measure of our youth.
 God help us, for we knew the worst too young!
Our shame is clean repentance for the crime that brought the sentence,
 Our pride it is to know no spur of pride,
And the Curse of Reuben holds us till an alien turf enfolds us
And we die, and none can tell Them where we died.
We’re poor little lambs who’ve lost our way,
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We’re little black sheep who’ve gone astray,
Gentlemen—rankers out on the spree,
Damned from here to Eternity,
God ha’ mercy on such as we,
Baa! Yah! Bah!

THE Camel’s hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown—ups too—oo—oo,
If we haven’t enough to do—oo—oo,
We get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly—yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know’ there is one for you)
When we get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump—
The horrible hump—
The hum that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you—oo—oo—
If I haven’t enough to do—oo—oo!
We all get hump—
Cameelious hump—
Kiddies and grown—ups too!

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


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!

SOUTH and far south below the Line,
Our Admiral leads us on,
Above, undreamed—of planets shine —
The stars we know are gone.
Around, our clustered seamen mark
The silent deep ablaze
With fires, through which the far—down shark
Shoots glimmering on his ways.

The sultry tropic breezes fail
That plagued us all day through;
Like molten silver hangs our sail,
Our decks are dark with dew.
Now the rank moon commands the sky.
Ho! Bid the watch beware
And rouse all sleeping men that lie
Unsheltered in her glare.

How long the time 'twixt bell and bell!
How still our lanthorns burn!
How strange our whispered words that tell
Of England and return!
Old towns, old streets, old friends, old loves,
We name them each to each,
While the lit face of Heaven removes
Them farther from our reach.

Now is the utmost ebb of night
When mind and body sink,
And loneliness and gathering fright
O’erwhelm us, if we think –
Yet, look, where in his room apart,
All windows opened wide,
Our Admiral thrusts away the chart
And comes to walk outside.

Kindly, from man to man he goes,
With comfort, praise, or jest,
Quick to suspect our childish woes,
Our terror and unrest.
It is as though the sun should shine—
Our midnight fears are gone!
South and far south below the Line,
Our Admiral leads us on!