The Second Jungle Book

Morning Song in the Jungle

Rudyard Kipling

ONE moment past our bodies cast
    No shadow on the plain;
Now clear and black they stride our track,
    And we run home again.
In morning hush, each rock and bush
    Stands hard, and high, and raw:
Then give the Call: “Good rest to all
    That keep the Jungle Law!

Now horn and pelt our peoples melt
    In covert to abide;
Now, crouched and still, to cave and hill
    Our Jungle Barons glide.
Now, stark and plain, Man’s oxen strain,
    That draw the new-yoked plough;
Now, stripped and dread, the dawn is red
    Above the lit talao.

Ho! Get to lair! The sun’s aflare
    Behind the breathing grass:
And creaking through the young bamboo
    The warning whispers pass.
By day made strange, the woods we range
    With blinking eyes we scan;
While down the skies the wild duck cries:
    ”The Day—the Day to Man!

The dew is dried that drenched our hide,
    Or washed about our way;
And where we drank, the puddled bank
    Is crisping into clay.
The traitor Dark gives up each mark
    Of stretched or hooded claw;
Then hear the Call: “Good rest to all
    That keep the Jungle Law!

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