A Ballad Of Burial

Poem By Rudyard Kipling

If down here I chance to die,
Solemnly I beg you take
All that is left of "I"
To the Hills for old sake's sake,
Pack me very thoroughly
In the ice that used to slake
Pegs I drank when I was dry --
This observe for old sake's sake.

To the railway station hie,
There a single ticket take
For Umballa -- goods-train -- I
Shall not mind delay or shake.
I shall rest contentedly
Spite of clamor coolies make;
Thus in state and dignity
Send me up for old sake's sake.

Next the sleepy Babu wake,
Book a Kalka van "for four."
Few, I think, will care to make
Journeys with me any more
As they used to do of yore.
I shall need a "special" break --
Thing I never took before --
Get me one for old sake's sake.

After that -- arrangements make.
No hotel will take me in,
And a bullock's back would break
'Neath the teak and leaden skin
Tonga ropes are frail and thin,
Or, did I a back-seat take,
In a tonga I might spin, --
Do your best for old sake's sake.

After that -- your work is done.
Recollect a Padre must
Mourn the dear departed one --
Throw the ashes and the dust.
Don't go down at once. I trust
You will find excuse to "snake
Three days' casual on the bust."
Get your fun for old sake's sake.

I could never stand the Plains.
Think of blazing June and May
Think of those September rains
Yearly till the Judgment Day!
I should never rest in peace,
I should sweat and lie awake.
Rail me then, on my decease,
To the Hills for old sake's sake.

Comments about A Ballad Of Burial

I love the rhythm in this poem.
Beautiful poem with an interesting narrative created around Indian practices, seasonal changes and their impact on life. Let us not forget that Kipling was born in India and spent many years here before moving over to England.
Clever poem about how one's body is treated after death: meaningful and astute.
Hills are really nice places for one's eternal sleep. Thanks for sharing!
Mourn the dear departed one! ! ! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.


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