Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/217

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There was no room to clear a sword—no power to strike a blow,
For foot to foot, ay, breast to breast, the battle held us fast—
Save where the naked hill men ran and stabbing from below
Brought down the horse and rider and we trampled them and passed.

To left the war of musketry rang like a falling flood—
To right the sunshine rippled red from redder lance and blade—
Above the dark Upsaras[1] flew, beneath us plashed the blood,
And, bellying black against the dust, the Bhagwa Jhanda swayed.

I saw it fall in smoke and fire, the banner of the Bhao;

I heard a voice across the press of one who called in vain:—
  1. The Choosers of the Slain.