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 Last of the Light Brigade
  2. . -, 1898 . Verses on Games. To An Almanack of Twelve Sports by W. Nicholson, 1898
  3. Fastness
  4. Limits and Renewals. 1932. 12. The Threshold
  5. Brazilian Verses. 1927. 3. Song of the Dynamo


 . Poem to print (Print)

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