Thursday, May 15, 2008


Traveling is lonely sometimes. I usually end up wanting the comfort of a book I don't have with me. Then I dissociate from the people I'm with and try to recreate sentences or rhymes in my head.

But I'm in a place with the Internet. So now, craving Kipling, I can find him. It isn't the books I have with the spines creased, that open to my favorite poems immediately from long use. But it's enough.

From The Ballad of East and West
Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him upon his feet.
"No talk shall be of dogs," said he, "when wolf and gray 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?"

From The Vampire
Oh the years we waste and the tears we waste
And the work of our head and hand,
Belong to the woman who did not know
(And now we know that she never could know)
And did not understand.
From Boots
Try—try—try—try—to think o’ something different—
Oh—my—God—keep—me from goin’ lunatic!
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin’ up an’ down again!)
There’s no discharge in the war!
Raped And Revenged
One used and butchered me: another spied
Me broken - for which thing an hundred died.
So it was learned among the heathen hosts
How much a freeborn woman's favour costs.
From The Sea and the Hills
Who hath desired the Sea?—the sight of salt water unbounded—
The heave and the halt and the hurl and the crash of the comber wind-hounded?
The sleek-barrelled swell before storm, grey, foamless, enormous, and growing—
Stark calm on the lap of the Line or the crazy-eyed hurricane blowing—
His Sea in no showing the same—his Sea and the same ’neath each showing:
His Sea as she slackens or thrills?
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise—hillmen desire their Hills!

and of course

From The Female of the Species
She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

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