Rudyard Kipling ( )


Barrack-Room Ballads. 57. The Return. All Arms


Peace is declared, an I return
    To Ackneystadt, but not the same;
Things ave transpired which made me learn
    The size and meanin of the game.
I did no more than others did,
    I dont know where the change began.
I started as a average kid,
    I finished as a thinkin man. 

If England was what England seems,
    An not the England of our dreams,
But only putty, brass, an paint,
    Ow quick wed drop er !But she aint!
Before my gappin mouth could speak
    I eard it in my comrades tone;
I saw it on my neighbours cheek
    Before I felt it flush my own.
An last it come to me  not pride,
    Nor yet conceit, but on the ole
(If such a term may be applied),
    The makins of a bloomin soul. 
Rivers at night that cluck an jeer,
    Plains which the moonshine turns to sea,
Mountains which never let you near,
    An stars to all eternity;
An the quick-breathin dark that fills
    The ollows of the wilderness,
When the wind worries through the ills 
    These may ave taught me more or less. 
Towns without people, ten times took,
    An ten times left an burned at last;
An starvin dogs that come to look
    For owners when a column passed;
An quiet, omesick talks between
    Men, met by night, you never knew
Until  is face  by shellfire seen 
    Once  an struck off. They taught me too 
The days lay-out  the mornin sun
    Beneath your at-brim as you sight;
The dinner-ush from noon till one,
    An the full roar that lasts till night;
An the pore dead that look so old
    An was so young an hour ago,
An legs tied down before theyre cold 
    These are the things which make you know. 
Also Time runnin into years 
    A thousand Places left beind 
An Men from both two emispheres
    Discussin things of every kind;
So much more near than I ad known,
    So much more great than I ad guessed 
An me, like all the rest, alone 
    But reachin out to all the rest! 
So ath it come to me-not pride,
    Nor yet conceit, but on the ole
(If such a term may be applied),
    The makins of a bloomin soul.
But now, discharged, I fall away
    To do with little things again. . . .
Gawd, oo knows all I cannot say,
    Look after me in Thamesfontein!1
If England was what England seems,
    An not the England of our dreams,
But only putty, brass, an paint,
    Ow quick wed chuck er! But she aint!

1 London.





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Rudyard Kipling's other poems:
  1. Brazilian Verses. 1927. 6. The Open Door
  2. England's Answer
  3. Barrack-Room Ballads. 2. Bobs
  4. Barrack-Room Ballads. 32. Bill Awkins
  5. Limits and Renewals. 1932. 9. The Coiner


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