Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads

For works with similar titles, see Barrack-Room Ballads and Departmental Ditties.
Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads (1919)
by Rudyard Kipling
1470417Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads1919Rudyard Kipling

Departmental Ditties
and Ballads and Bar-
rack Room Ballads

By Rudyard Kipling

Garden City  New York

Ballads and Barrack Room Ballads

Copyright, 1892,


New Edition, with Additional Poems

Copyright, 1893,


Copyright, 1899,


Departmental Ditties and Other Poems,

Revised, April, 1899.

Copyright, 1899,




General Summary 3
Army Headquarters 5
Study of an Elevation, in Indian Ink 8
Delilah 10
A Legend of the Foreign Office 14
The Story of Uriah 17
The Post that Fitted 19
A Code of Morals 22
Public Waste 26
What Happened 29
The Man Who Could Write 32
Pink Dominoes 35
Municipal 38
The Last Department 41


My Rival 45
To the Unknown Goddess 48
The Rupaiyat of Omar Kal'vin 50
Pagett, M. P. 53
La Nuit Blanche 56
The Lovers' Litany 61
A Ballad of Burial 63
The Overland Mail 66
Divided Destinies 68
The Masque of Plenty 71
The Mare's Nest 78
The Ballad of Fisher's Boarding-house 81
Possibilities 86
Arithmetic on the Frontier 89
The Song of the Women 91
The Betrothed 94
A Ballade of Jakko Hill 99
The Plea of the Simla Dancers 101
"As the Bell Clinks" 104
Christmas in India 108
The Grave of the Hundred Head 111
An Old Song 116
Certain Maxims of Hafiz 120
The Moon of Other Days 126
The Fall of Jock Gillespie 128
What the People Said 131
The Undertaker's Horse 134
One Viceroy Resigns 137
The Galley-slave 146
A Tale of Two Cities 151
In Springtime 155
Giffen's Debt 157
Two Months. In June 160
Two Months. In September 161
L'envoi 162


The Ballad of East and West 3
The Last Suttee 12
The Ballad of the King's Mercy 18
The Ballad of the King's Jest 25
With Scindia to Delhi 31
The Ballad of Boh Da Thone 40
The Lament of the Border Cattle Thief 53
The Rhyme of the Three Captains 56
The Ballad of the "Clampherdown" 64
The Ballad of the "Bolivar" 69
The Lost Legion 74
The Sacrifice of Er-Heb 77
The Dove of Dacca 88
The Explanation 90
An Answer 91
The Gift of the Sea 92
Evarra and His Gods 96
The Conundrum of the Workshops 100
In the Neolithic Age 104
The Legend of Evil 107
The English Flag 111
"Cleared" 117
An Imperial Rescript 125
Tomlinson 129


Danny Deever 143
Tommy 146
"Fuzzy-Wuzzy" 150
Soldier, Soldier 153
Screw-Guns 156
Cells 160
Gunga Din 163
Oonts! 167
Loot 171
"Snarleyow" 175
The Widow at Windsor 179
Belts 182
The Young British Soldier 186
Mandalay 190
Troopin' 194
The Widow's Party 197
Ford o' Kabul River 200
Gentlemen-Rankers 203
Route Marchin' 206
Shillin' a Day 210
L'envoi 212


I have eaten your bread and salt,

I have drunk your water and wine;

The deaths ye died I have watched beside,

And the lives that ye led were mine.

Was there aught that I did not share

In vigil or toil or ease,—

One joy or woe that I did not know,

Dear hearts across the seas?

I have written the tale of our life

For a sheltered people's mirth,

In jesting guise—but ye are wise,

And ye know what the jest is worth.






Beyond the path of the outmost sun, through utter darkness hurled,
Further than ever comet flared or vagrant star-dust swirled,
Sit such as fought and sailed and ruled and loved and made our world.

They are purged of pride because they died; they know the worth of their bays;
They sit at wine with the Maidens Nine, and the Gods of the Elder Days—
It is their will to serve or be still as fitteth our Father's praise.

'Tis theirs to sweep through the ringing deep where Azrael's outposts are,
Or buffet a path through the Pit's red wrath when God goes out to war,
Or hang with the reckless Seraphim on the rein of a redmaned star.

They take their mirth in the joy of the earth—they dare not grieve for her pain—
For they know of toil and the end of toil—they know God's Law is plain;
So they whistle the Devil to make them sport who know that sin is vain.

And ofttimes cometh our wise Lord God, master of every trade,
And tells them tales of the Seventh Day—of Edens newly made,
And they rise to their feet as He passes by—gentlemen unafraid.

To these who are cleansed of base Desire, Sorrow and Lust and Shame—
Gods, for they knew the heart of Men—men, for they stooped to Fame—
Some on the breath that men call Death, my brother's spirit came.

Scarce had he need to cast his pride or slough the dross of earth.
E'en as he trod that day to God, so walked he from this birth—
In simpleness and gentleness and honour and clean mirth.

So, cup to lip in fellowship, they gave him welcome high
And made him place at the banquet board, the Strong Men ranged thereby,
Who had done his work and held his peace and had no fear to die.

Beyond the loom of the last lone star through open darkness hurled,
Further than rebel comet dared or hiving star-swarm swirled,
Sits he with such as praise our God for that they served his world.


The greater part of the "Barrack-Room Ballads," as well as "Cleared," "Tomlinson," and "The English Flag," have appeared in the "National Observer." Messrs. Macmillan and Co. have kindly given me permission to reproduce four ballads contributed to their Magazine, and I am indebted to the "St. James Gazette" for a like courtesy in regard to the ballads of the "Clampherdown" and "Bolivar," and the "Imperial Rescript." "The Rhyme of the Three Captains" was printed first in the "Athenæum." I fancy that most of the other verses are new.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1929.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1936, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 87 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

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