Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Darzee’s Chaunt
 
(Sung in honour of Rikki-tikki-tavi)

        SINGER and tailor am I—
          Doubled the joys that I know—
        Proud of my lilt to the sky,
          Proud of the house that I sew—
Over and under, so weave I my music—so weave I the house that I sew.        5
 
        Sing to your fledglings again,
          Mother, O lift up your head!
        Evil that plagued us is slain,
          Death in the garden lies dead.
Terror that hid in the roses is impotent—flung on the dunghill and dead!        10
 
        Who hath delivered us, who?
          Tell me his nest and his name.
        Rikki, the valiant, the true,
          Tikki, with eyeballs of flame,
Rik-tikki-tikki, the ivory-fangèd, the Hunter with eyeballs of flame.        15
 
        Give him the Thanks of the Birds,
          Bowing with tail-feathers spread!
        Praise him in nightingale-words—
          Nay, I will praise him instead.
Hear! I will sing you the praise of the bottle-tailed Rikki, with eyeballs of red!

(Here Rikki-tikki interrupted, and the rest of the song is lost.)
        20
 
 
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