Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/154

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ONE VICEROY RESIGNS

(Shall I write letters, answering H-nt-r—fawn
With R-p-n on the Yorkshire grocers? Ugh!)
They have their Reputations. Look to one—
I work with him—the smallest of them all,
White-haired, red-faced, who sat the plunging horse
Out in the garden. He's your right-hand man,
And dreams of tilting W-ls-y from the throne,
But while he dreams gives work he cannot buy;
He has his Reputation—wants the Lords
By way of Frontier Roads. Meantime, I think,
He values very much the hand that falls
Upon his shoulder at the Council table—
Hates cats and knows his business: which is yours.
Your business! Twice a hundred million souls.
Your business! I could tell you what I did
Some nights of Eighty-Five, at Simla, worth
A Kingdom's ransom. When a big ship drives
God knows to what new reef, the man at the wheel
Prays with the passengers. They lose their lives.
Or rescued go their way; but he's no man
To take his trick at the wheel again—that's worse
Than drowning. Well, a galled Mashobra mule
(You'll see Mashobra) passed me on the Mall,

And I was—some fool's wife had ducked and bowed