Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/171

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GIFFEN'S DEBT

Imprimis he was "broke." Thereafter left
His regiment and, later, took to drink;
Then, having lost the balance of his friends,
"Went Fantee"—joined the people of the land,
Turned three parts Mussulman and one Hindu,
And lived among the Gauri villagers,
Who gave him shelter and a wife or twain,
And boasted that a thorough, full-blood sahib
Had come among them. Thus he spent his time,
Deeply indebted to the village shroff,
(Who never asked for payment) always drunk,
Unclean, abominable, out-at-heels;
Forgetting that he was an Englishman.


You know they dammed the Gauri with a dam,
And all the good contractors scamped their work,
And all the bad material at hand
Was used to dam the Gauri—which was cheap,
And, therefore, proper. Then the Gauri burst,

And several hundred thousand cubic tons

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