The Second Jungle Book

A Ripple Song

Rudyard Kipling

ONCE a ripple came to land
    In the golden sunset burning—
Lapped against a maiden’s hand,
    By the ford returning.

Dainty foot and gentle breast—
Here, across, be glad and rest.
“Maiden, wait,” the ripple saith;
“Wait awhile, for I am Death!”

“Where my lover calls I go—
    Shame it were to treat him coldly—
’Twas a fish that circled so,
    Turning over boldly.”

Dainty foot and tender heart,
Wait the loaded ferry-cart.
“Wait, ah, wait!” the ripple saith;
“Maiden, wait, for I am Death!”

“When my lover calls I haste—
    Dame Disdain was never wedded!”
Ripple-ripple round her waist,
    Clear the current eddied.

Foolish heart and faithful hand,
Little feet that touched no land.
Far away the ripple sped,
Ripple—ripple—running red!

Back    |    Words Home    |    Kipling Home    |    Site Info.    |    Feedback