Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/208

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24

THE KING'S MERCY

Before the dawn three times he spoke, and on the day once more:
"Creature of God, deliver me and bless the King therefore!"


They shot him at the morning prayer, to ease him of his pain,
And when he heard the matchlocks clink, he blessed the King again.
Which thing the singers made a song for all the world to sing,
So that the Outer Seas may know the mercy of the King.


Abdhur Rahman, the Durani Chief, of him is the story told.
He has opened his mouth to the North and the South, they have stuffed his mouth with gold.
Ye know the truth of his tender ruth—and sweet his favours are.
Ye have heard the song—How long? How long? from Balkh to Kandahar.