(Rudyard Kipling)

. 1896

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Sestina of the Tramp-Royal


Speakin in general, I ave tried em all
The appy roads that take you oer the world.   
Speakin in general, I ave found them good   
For such as cannot use one bed too long,   
But must get ence, the same as I ave done,   
An go observin matters till they die.

What do it matter where or ow we die,
So long as weve our ealth to watch it all
The different ways that different things are done,   
An men an women lovin in this world;   
Takin our chances as they come along,   
An when they aint, pretendin they are good?

In cash or creditno, it arent no good;   
You ave to ave the abit or youd die,
Unless you lived your life but one day long,   
Nor didnt prophesy nor fret at all,
But drew your tucker someow from the world,   
An never bothered what you might ha done.

But, Gawd, what things are they I avent done?   
Ive turned my and to most, an turned it good,   
In various situations round the world
For im that doth not work must surely die;   
But that's no reason man should labour all   
Is life on one same shiftlifes none so long.

Therefore, from job to job Ive moved along.   
Pay couldnt old me when my time was done,   
For something in my ead upset it all,
Till I ad dropped whatever twas for good,   
An, out at sea, beeld the dock-lights die,
An met my matethe wind that tramps the world!

Its like a book, I think, this bloomin world,   
Which you can read and care for just so long,   
But presently you feel that you will die   
Unless you get the page youre readin done,   
An turn anotherlikely not so good;   
But what youre after is to turn em all.

Gawd bless this world! Whatever she ath done
Excep when awful long Ive found it good.   
So write, before I die, E liked it all!

  1. ˸ The Last of the Light Brigade
  2. . -, 1898 . Verses on Games. To An Almanack of Twelve Sports by W. Nicholson, 1898
  3. Fastness
  4. The Landau
  5. Limits and Renewals. 1932. 15. The Curé

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