Famous Poems by
Famous Poets :
The Ballad of Boh Da Thone Part 2
>> Rudyard Kipling <<
So trusting Your Honour will somewhat retain
True love and affection for Govt. Bullock Train,
'And show awful kindness to satisfy me,
. . . . .
As the rabbit is drawn to the rattlesnake's power,
As the smoker's eye fills at the opium hour,
As a horse reaches up to the manger above,
As the waiting ear yearns for the whisper of love,
From the arms of the Bride, iron-visaged and slow,
The Captain bent down to the Head of the Boh.
And e'en as he looked on the Thing where It lay
'Twixt the winking new spoons and the napkins' array,
The freed mind fled back to the long-ago days --
The hand-to-hand scuffle -- the smoke and the blaze --
The forced march at night and the quick rush at dawn --
The banjo at twilight, the burial ere morn --
The stench of the marshes -- the raw, piercing smell
When the overhand stabbing-cut silenced the yell --
The oaths of his Irish that surged when they stood
Where the black crosses hung o'er the Kuttamow flood.
As a derelict ship drifts away with the tide
The Captain went out on the Past from his Bride,
Back, back, through the springs to the chill of the year,
When he hunted the Boh from Maloon to Tsaleer.
As the shape of a corpse dimmers up through deep water,
In his eye lit the passionless passion of slaughter,
And men who had fought with O'Neil for the life
Had gazed on his face with less dread than his wife.
For she who had held him so long could not hold him --
Though a four-month Eternity should have controlled him --
But watched the twin Terror -- the head turned to head --
The scowling, scarred Black, and the flushed savage Red --
The spirit that changed from her knowing and flew to
Some grim hidden Past she had never a clue to.
But It knew as It grinned, for he touched it unfearing,
And muttered aloud, 'So you kept that jade earring!'
Then nodded, and kindly, as friend nods to friend,
'Old man, you fought well, but you lost in the end.'
. . . . .
The visions departed, and Shame followed Passion: --
'He took what I said in this horrible fashion,
'I'll write to Harendra!' With language unsainted
The Captain came back to the Bride. . .who had fainted.
. . . . .
And this is a fiction? No. Go to Simoorie
And look at their baby, a twelve-month old Houri,
A pert little, Irish-eyed Kathleen Mavournin --
She's always about on the Mall of a mornin' --
And you'll see, if her right shoulder-strap is displaced,
This: Gules upon ~argent~, a Boh's Head, erased!
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