Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/116

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And we revolved to divers melodies,
And we were happy but a year ago.
To-night the moon that watched our lightsome wiles—
That beamed upon us through the deodars—
Is wan with gazing on official files,
And desecrating desks disgust the stars.

Nay! by the memory of tuneful nights—
Nay! by the witchery of flying feet—
Nay! by the glamour of foredone delights—
By all things merry, musical, and meet—
By wine that sparkled, and by sparkling eyes—
By wailing waltz—by reckless gallop's strain—
By dim verandahs and by soft replies,
Give us our ravished ball-room back again!

Or—hearken to the curse we lay on you!
The ghosts of waltzes shall perplex your brain,
And murmurs of past merriment pursue
Your 'wildered clerks that they indite in vain;
And when you count your poor Provincial millions.
The only figures that your pen shall frame
Shall be the figures of dear, dear cotillons
Danced out in tumult long before you came.