Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/200

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When thrice she leaped from the leaping flame,
And thrice she beat her breast for shame,
And thrice like a wounded dove she came
And moaned about the fire.

One watched, a bow-shot from the blaze,
The silent streets between,
Who had stood by the King in sport and fray,
To blade in ambush or boar at bay,
And he was a baron old and grey,
And kin to the Boondi Queen.

He said: "O shameless, put aside
"The veil upon thy brow!
"Who held the King and all his land
"To the wanton will of a harlot's hand!
"Will the white ash rise from the blistered brand?
"Stoop down, and call him now!"

Then she: "By the faith of my tarnished soul,
"All things I did not well
"I had hoped to clear ere the fire died,
"And lay me down by my master's side
"To rule in Heaven his only bride,
"While the others howl in Hell.