Rudyard Kipling ( )


Barrack-Room Ballads. 53. Half-Ballade of Waterval. Non-Commissioned Officers in Charge of Prisoners


When by the labour of my ands
    Ive elped to pack a transport tight
With prisoners for foreign lands,
    I aint transported with delight.
    I know its only just an right,
        But yet it somehow sickens me,
For I ave learned at Waterval1
        The meanin of captivity. 
Beind the pegged barb-wire strands,
    Beneath the tall electric light,
Weused to walk in bare-ead bands,
    Explainin ow we lost our fight;
    An that is what theyll do to-night
        Upon the steamer out at sea,
If I ave learned at Waterval
        The meanin of captivity. 
Theyll never know the shame that brands
    Black shame no livin down makes white
The mockin from the sentry-stands,
    The womens laugh, the gaolers spite.
    We are too bloomin-much polite,
        But that is ow Id ave us be...
Since I ave learned at Waterval
        The meanin of captivity. 
Theyll get those draggin days all right,
    Spent as a foreigner commands,
An orrors of the locked-up night,
    With Ells own thinkin on their ands.
    Id give the gold o twenty Rands
        (If it was mine) to set em free
For I ave learned at Waterval
        The meanin of captivity! 

1 Where the majority of English prisoners were kept by the Boers.





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  . 
9-10.05.1996
31.12.2000 (.)
30.06.2005 ()
   

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Rudyard Kipling's other poems:
  1. The Beginner
  2. Debits and Credits. (1919-1926). 17. Untimely
  3. A History of England. 1911. 17. The American Rebellion
  4. The Jester
  5. A History of England. 1911. 20. The Secret of the Machines


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