Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/215

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WITH SCINDIA TO DELHI

More than a hundred years ago, in a great battle fought near Delhi, an Indian Prince rode fifty miles after the day was lost with a beggar-girl, who had loved him and followed him in all his camps, on his saddle bow. He lost the girl when almost within sight of safety. A Maratta trooper tells the story:—

The wreath of banquet overnight lay withered on the neck,
Our hands and scarves were saffron-dyed for signal of despair,
When we went forth to Paniput to battle with the Mlech,—
Ere we came back from Paniput and left a kingdom there.


Thrice thirty-thousand men were we to force the Jumna fords—

The hawk-winged horse of Damajee, mailed squadrons of the Bhao,

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