Departmental Ditties and Other Verses

A Ballade of Jakko Hill

Rudyard Kipling

ONE moment bid the horses wait,
     Since tiffin is not laid till three,
Below the upward path and straight
     You climbed a year ago with me.
Love came upon us suddenly
     And loosed—an idle hour to kill—
A headless, armless armory
     That smote us both on Jakko Hill.

Ah Heaven! we would wait and wait
     Through Time and to Eternity!
Ah Heaven! we could conquer Fate
     With more than Godlike constancy
I cut the date upon a tree—
     Here stand the clumsy figures still:
“10-7-85, A.D.”
     Damp with the mist of Jakko Hill.

What came of high resolve and great,
     And until Death fidelity!
Whose horse is waiting at your gate?
     Whose ’rickshaw-wheels ride over me?
No Saint’s, I swear; and—let me see
     To-night what names your programme fill—
We drift asunder merrily,
     As drifts the mist on Jakko Hill.


Princess, behold our ancient state
     Has clean departed; and we see
’Twas Idleness we took for Fate
     That bound light bonds on you and me.
Amen! Here ends the comedy
     Where it began in all good will;
Since Love and Leave together flee
     As driven mist on Jakko Hill!

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