Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Outsong in the Jungle
 
BALOO
FOR the sake of him who showed
One wise Frog the Jungle-Road,
Keep the Law the Man-Pack make
For thy blind old Baloo’s sake!
Clean or tainted, hot or stale,        5
Hold it as it were the Trail,
Through the day and through the night,
Questing neither left nor right.
For the sake of him who loves
Thee beyond all else that moves,        10
When thy Pack would make thee pain,
Say: “Tabaqui sings again.”
When thy Pack would work thee ill,
Say: “Shere Khan is yet to kill.”
When the knife is drawn to slay,        15
Keep the Law and go thy way.
(Root and honey, palm and spathe,
Guard a cub from harm and scathe!)
Wood and Water, Wind and Tree,
Jungle-Favour go with thee!        20
 
KAA
Anger is the egg of Fear—
Only lidless eyes see clear.
Cobra-poison none may leech—
Even so with Cobra-speech.
Open talk shall call to thee.        25
Strength, whose mate is Courtesy.
Send no lunge beyond thy length.
Lend no rotten bough thy strength.
Gauge thy gape with buck or goat,
Lest thine eye should choke thy throat.        30
After gorging, wouldst thou sleep?
Look thy den be hid and deep,
Lest a wrong, by thee forgot,
Draw thy killer to the spot.
East and West and North and South,        35
Wash thy hide and close thy mouth.
(Pit and rift and blue pool-brim,
Middle-Jungle follow him!)
Wood and Water, Wind and Tree,
Jungle-Favour go with thee!        40
 
BAGHEERA
In the cage my life began;
Well I know the worth of Man.
By the Broken Lock that freed—
Man-cub, ’ware the Man-cub’s breed!
Scenting-dew or starlight pale,        45
Choose no tangled tree-cat trail.
Pack or council, hunt or den,
Cry no truce with Jackal-Men.
Feed them silence when they say:
“Come with us an easy way.”        50
Feed them silence when they seek
Help of thine to hurt the weak.
Make no bandar’s boast of skill;
Hold thy peace above the kill.
Let nor call nor song nor sign        55
Turn thee from thy hunting-line.
(Morning mist or twilight clear,
Serve him, Wardens of the Deer!)
Wood and Water, Wind and Tree,
Jungle-Favour go with thee!        60
 
THE THREE
On the trail that thou must tread
To the thresholds of our dread,
Where the Flower blossoms red;
Through the nights when thou shalt lie
Prisoned from our Mother-sky,        65
Hearing us, thy loves, go by;
In the dawns when thou shalt wake
To the toil thou canst not break,
Heartsick for the Jungle’s sake;
Wood and Water, Wind and Tree,        70
Wisdom, Strength, and Courtesy,
Jungle-Favour go with thee!
 
 
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