Rudyard Kipling’s “A Ripple Song”


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!

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Lewis Carroll’s “Lays of Mystery, Imagination, and Humour”



I DREAMT I dwelt in marble halls,

And each damp thing that creeps and crawls

Went wobble-wobble on the walls.


Faint odours of departed cheese,

Blown on the dank, unwholesome breeze,

Awoke the never-ending sneeze.


Strange pictures decked the arras drear,

Strange characters of woe and fear,

The humbugs of the social sphere.


One showed a vain and noisy prig,

That shouted empty words and big

At him that nodded in a wig.


And one, a dotard grim and gray,

Who wasteth childhood’s happy day

In work more profitless than play.


Whose icy breast no pity warms,

Whose little victims sit in swarms,

And slowly sob on lower forms.


And one, a green thyme-honoured Bank,

Where flowers are growing wild and rank,

Like weeds that fringe a poisoned tank.


All birds of evil omen there

Flood with rich Notes the tainted air,

The witless wanderer to snare.


The fatal Notes neglected fall,

No creature heeds the treacherous call,

For all those goodly Strawn Baits Pall.


The wandering phantom broke and fled,

Straightway I saw within my head

A vision of a ghostly bed,


Where lay two worn decrepit 2 men,

The fictions of a lawyer’s pen,

Who never more might breathe again.


The serving-man of Richard Roe

Wept, inarticulate with woe:

She wept, that waited on John Doe.


“Oh rouse”, I urged, “the waning sense

With tales of tangled evidence,

Of suit, demurrer, and defence.”


“Vain”, she replied, “such mockeries:

For morbid fancies, such as these,

No suits can suit, no plea can please.”


And bending o’er that man of straw,

She cried in grief and sudden awe,

Not inappropriately, “Law!”


The well-remembered voice he knew,

He smiled, he faintly muttered “Sue!”

(Her very name was legal too.)


The night was fled, the dawn was nigh:

A hurricane went raving by,

And swept the Vision from mine eye.


Vanished that dim and ghostly bed,

(The hangings, tape; the tape was red:)

‘Tis o’er, and Doe and Roe are dead!


Oh, yet my spirit inly crawls,

What time it shudderingly recalls

That horrid dream of marble halls!


Oxford, 1855.


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Lewis Carroll’s “Photography Extraordinary”

The Milk and Water School



ALAS! she would not hear my prayer!

Yet it were rash to tear my hair;

Disfigured, I should be less fair.


She was unwise, I may say blind;

Once she was lovingly inclined;

Some circumstance has changed her mind.


The Strong Minded or Matter of Fact School


Well! so my offer was no go!

She might do worse, I told her so;

She was a fool to answer “No”.


However, things are as they stood;

Nor would I have her if I could,

For there are plenty more as good.


The Spasmodic or German School


Firebrands and daggers! hope hath fled!

To atoms dash the doubly dead!

My brain is fire–my heart is lead!


Her soul is flint, and what am I?

Scorch’d by her fierce, relentless eye,

Nothingness is my destiny!



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Rudyard Kipling’s “Mowgli’s Song Against People”

I will let loose against you the fleet-footed vines –
I will call in the Jungle to stamp out your lines !
The roofs shall fade before it,
The house-beams shall fall;
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all !

In the gates of these your councils my people shall sing.
In the doors of these your garners the Bat-folk shall cling;
And the snake shall be your watchman,
By a hearthstone unswept;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall fruit where ye slept !

Ye shall not see my strikers; ye shall hear them and guess.
By night, before the moon-rise, I will send for my cess,
And the wolf shall be your herdsman
By a landmark removed;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall seed where ye loved !

I will reap your fields before you at the hands of a host.
Ye shall glean behind my reapers for the bread that is lost;
And the deer shall be your oxen
On a headland untilled;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall leaf where ye build !

I have untied against you the club-footed vines –
I have sent in the Jungle to swamp out your lines !
The trees – the trees are on you !
The house-beams shall fall;
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover you all !


Man, I’ve been off my game, guys! I’m sorry I’ve missed so many updates. A lot of exciting things have happened with The Prince of Prophecy Vol. III: Changing Tides, and it’s kept me really busy! I’m going to try to stay on top of these posts, but if I get a little behind I’m sorry in advance–right now I’m running my own three-ring circus.

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Lewis Carroll’s “She’s All My Fancy Painted Him”

She’s all my fancy painted him
(I make no idle boast);
If he or you had lost a limb,
Which would have suffered most?

They told me you had been to her,
And mentioned me to him:
She gave me a good character,
But said I could not swim.

He sent them word I had not gone
(We know it to be true):
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?

I gave her one, they gave him two,
You gave us three or more;
They all returned from him to you,
Though they were mine before.

If I or she should chance to be
Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free,
Exactly as we were.

My notion was that you had been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.

Don’t let him know she liked them best,
For this must ever be
A secret, kept from all the rest,
Between yourself and me.


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Lewis Carroll’s “Coronach”

She is gone by the Hilda,

She is lost unto Whitby,

And her name is Matilda,

Which my heart it was smit by;

Tho’ I take the Goliah,

I learn to my sorrow

That ‘it wo’n’t’, said the crier,

‘Be off till tomorrow.


“She called me her ‘Neddy’,

(Tho’ there mayn’t be much in it,)

And I should have been ready,

If she’d waited a minute;

I was following behind her

When, if you recollect, I

Merely ran back to find a

Gold pin for my neck-tie.


“Rich dresser of suet!

Prime hand at a sausage!

I have lost thee, I rue it,

And my fare for the passage!

Perhaps she thinks it funny,

Aboard of the Hilda,

But I’ve lost purse and money,

And thee, oh, my ‘Tilda!”


His pin of gold the youth undid

And in his waistcoat-pocket hid,

Then gently folded hand in hand,

And dropped asleep upon the sand.


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Rudyard Kipling’s “A Song of Kabir”

Oh, light was the world that he weighed in his hands!
Oh, heavy the tale of his fiefs and his lands!
He has gone from the guddee and put on the shroud,
And departed in guise of bairagi avowed!

Now the white road to Delhi is mat for his feet.
The sal and the kikar must guard him from heat.
His home is the camp, and waste, and the crowd —
He is seeking the Way as bairagi avowed!

He has looked upon Man, and his eyeballs are clear —
(There was One; there is One, and but One, saith Kabir);
The Red Mist of Doing has thinned to a cloud —
He has taken the Path for bairagi avowed!

To learn and discern of his brother the clod,
Of his brother the brute, and his brother the God,
He has gone from the council and put on the shroud
(“Can ye hear?” saith Kabir), a bairagi avowed!


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Lewis Carroll’s “The Lady of the Ladle”

The Youth at Eve had drunk his fill,

Where stands the “Royal” on the Hill,

And long his mid-day stroll had made,

On the so-called “Marine Parade”–

(Meant, I presume, for Seamen brave,

Whose “march is on the Mountain wave”

‘Twere just the bathing-place for him

Who stays on land till he can swim)

And he had strayed into the Town,

And paced each alley up and down,

Where still, so narrow grew the way,

The very houses seemed to say,

Nodding to friends across the Street,

“One struggle more and we shall meet.”

And he had scaled that wondrous stair

That soars from earth to upper air,

Where rich and poor alike must climb,

And walk the treadmill for a time.

That morning he had dressed with care,

And put Pomatum on his hair;

He was, the loungers all agreed,

A very heavy swell indeed:

Men thought him, as he swaggered by,

Some scion of nobility,

And never dreamed, so cold his look,

That he had loved–and loved a Cook.

Upon the beach he stood and sighed

Unheedful of the treacherous tide;

Thus sang he to the listening main,

And soothed his sorrow with the strain!


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Lewis Carroll’s “The Two Brothers”

THERE were two brothers at Twyford school,

And when they had left the place,

It was, “Will ye learn Greek and Latin?

Or will ye run me a race?

Or will ye go up to yonder bridge,

And there we will angle for dace?”


“I’m too stupid for Greek and for Latin,

I’m too lazy by half for a race,

So I’ll even go up to yonder bridge,

And there we will angle for dace.”


He has fitted together two joints of his rod,

And to them he has added another,

And then a great hook he took from his book,

And ran it right into his brother.


Oh much is the noise that is made among boys

When playfully pelting a pig,

But a far greater pother was made by his brother

When flung from the top of the brigg.


The fish hurried up by the dozens,

All ready and eager to bite,

For the lad that he flung was so tender and young,

It quite gave them an appetite.


Said he, “Thus shall he wallop about

And the fish take him quite at their ease,

For me to annoy it was ever his joy,

Now I’ll teach him the meaning of ‘Tees’!”


The wind to his ear brought a voice,

“My brother, you didn’t had ought ter!

And what have I done that you think it such fun

To indulge in the pleasure of slaughter?


“A good nibble or bite is my chiefest delight,

When I’m merely expected to see,

But a bite from a fish is not quite what I wish,

When I get it performed upon me;

And just now here’s a swarm of dace at my arm,

And a perch has got hold of my knee.


“For water my thirst was not great at the first,

And of fish I have quite sufficien-“

“Oh fear not!” he cried, “for whatever betide,

We are both in the selfsame condition!


“I am sure that our state’s very nearly alike

(Not considering the question of slaughter),

For I have my perch on the top of the bridge,

And you have your perch in the water.


“I stick to my perch and your perch sticks to you,

We are really extremely alike;

I’ve a turn-pike up here, and I very much fear

You may soon have a turn with a pike.”


“Oh, grant but one wish! If I’m took by a fish

(For your bait is your brother, good man!)

Pull him up if you like, but I hope you will strike

As gently as ever you can.”


“If the fish be a trout, I’m afraid there’s no doubt

I must strike him like lightning that’s greased;

If the fish be a pike, I’ll engage not, to strike,

Till I’ve waited ten minutes at least.”


“But in those ten minutes to desolate Fate

Your brother a victim may fall!”

“I’ll reduce it to five, so perhaps you’ll survive,

But the chance is exceedingly small.”


“Oh hard is your heart for to act such a part;

Is it iron, or granite, or steel?”

“Why, I really can’t say- it is many a day

Since my heart was accustomed to feel.


“’Twas my heart-cherished wish for to slay many fish

Each day did my malice grow worse,

For my heart didn’t soften with doing it so often

But rather, I should say, the reverse.”


“Oh would I were back at Twyford school,

Learning lessons in fear of the birch!”

“Nay, brother!” he cried, “for whatever betide,

You are better off here with your perch!


“I am sure you’ll allow you are happier now,

With nothing to do but to play;

And this single line here, it is perfectly clear,

Is much better than thirty a day!


“And as to the rod hanging over your head,

And apparently ready to fall,

That, you know, was the case, when you lived in that place,

So it need not be reckoned at all.


“Do you see that old trout with a turn-up-nose snout?

(Just to speak on a pleasanter theme),

Observe, my dear brother, our love for each other

He’s the one I like best in the stream.


“To-morrow I mean to invite him to dine

(We shall all of us think it a treat);

If the day should be fine, I’ll just drop him a line,

And we’ll settle what time we’re to meet.


“He hasn’t been into society yet,

And his manners are not of the best,

So I think it quite fair that it should be my care,

To see that he’s properly dressed.”


Many words brought the wind of “cruel” and “kind”,

And that “man suffers more than the brute”:

Each several word with patience he heard,

And answered with wisdom to boot.


“What? prettier swimming in the stream,

Than lying all snugly and flat?

Do but look at that dish filled with glittering fish,

Has Nature a picture like that?


“What? a higher delight to be drawn from the sight

Of fish full of life and of glee?

What a noodle you are! ‘tis delight fuller far

To kill them than let them go free!


“I know there are people who prate by the hour

Of the beauty of earth, sky, and ocean;

Of the birds as they fly, of the fish darting by,

Rejoicing in Life and in Motion.


“As to any delight to be got from the sight,

It is all very well for a flat,

But I think it all gammon, for hooking a salmon

Is better than twenty of that!


“They say that a man of a right-thinking mind

Will love the dumb creatures he sees

What’s the use of his mind, if he’s never inclined

To pull a fish out of the Tees?


“Take my friends and my home- as an outcast I’ll roam:

Take the money I have in the Bank;

It is just what I wish, but deprive me of fish,

And my life would indeed be a blank!”


Forth from the house his sister came,

Her brothers for to see,

But when she saw that sight of awe,

The tear stood in her e’e.


“Oh what bait’s that upon your hook,

My brother, tell to me?”

“It is but the fantailed pigeon,

He would not sing for me.”


“Whoe’er would expect a pigeon to sing,

A simpleton he must be!

But a pigeon-cote is a different thing

To the coat that there I see!”


“Oh what bait’s that upon your hook,

Dear brother, tell to me?”

“It is my younger brother,” he cried,

“Oh woe and dole is me!


“I’s mighty wicked, that I is!

Or how could such things be?

Farewell, farewell, sweet sister,

I’m going o’er the sea.”


“And when will you come back again,

My brother, tell to me?”

“When chub is good for human food,

And that will never be!”


She turned herself right round about,

And her heart brake into three,

Said, “One of the two will be wet through and through,

And t’other’ll be late for his tea!”


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Rudyard Kipling’s “The Law of the Jungle”


Now this is the Law of the Jungle —
as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper,
but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk
the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,
and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip;
drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting,
and forget not the day is for sleep.

The Jackal may follow the Tiger,
but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter —
go forth and get food of thine own.

Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle —
the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent,
and mock not the Boar in his lair.

When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle,
and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken —
it may be fair words shall prevail.

When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack,
ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel,
and the Pack be diminished by war.

The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge,
and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter,
not even the Council may come.

The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge,
but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message,
and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight, be silent,
and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop,
and your brothers go empty away.

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates
and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing,
and seven times never kill Man!

If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker,
devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest;
so leave him the head and the hide.

The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack.
Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair,
or he dies.

The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf.
He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission,
the Pack may not eat of that Kill.

Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling.
From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten;
and none may refuse him the same.

Lair-Right is the right of the Mother.
From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter,
and none may deny her the same.

Cave-Right is the right of the Father —
to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack;
he is judged by the Council alone.

Because of his age and his cunning,
because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open,
the word of your Head Wolf is Law.

Now these are the Laws of the Jungle,
and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law
and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!

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