Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/149

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135
THE UNDERTAKER'S HORSE

Of pith and might and muscle—at your heels,
Down the plantain-bordered highway
(Heaven send it ne'er be my way!),
In a lacquered box and jetty upon wheels.


Answer, sombre beast and dreary,
Where is Brown, the young, the cheery,
Smith, the pride of all his friends and half the Force?
You were at that last dread dak
We must cover at a walk,
Bring them back to me, O Undertaker's Horse!


With your mane unhogged and flowing,
And your curious way of going,
And that business-like black crimping of your tail,
E'en with Beauty on your back, Sir,
Pacing as a lady's hack, Sir,
What wonder when I meet you I turn pale?


It may be you wait your time, Beast,
Till I write my last bad rhyme, Beast,
Quit the sunlight, cut the rhyming, drop the glass,
Follow after with the others,
Where some dusky heathen smothers
Us with marigolds in lieu of English grass.