Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/235

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51
BOH DA THONE

As a derelict ship drifts away with the tide
The Captain went out on the Past from his Bride,


Back, back, through the springs to the chill of the year,
When he hunted the Boh from Maloon to Tsaleer.


As the shape of a corpse dimmers up through deep water,
In his eye lit the passionless passion of slaughter,


And men who had fought with O'Neil for the life
Had gazed on his face with less dread than his wife.


For she who had held him so long could not hold him—
Though a four-month Eternity should have controlled him—


But watched the twin Terror—the head turned to head—
The scowling, scarred Black, and the flushed savage Red—


The spirit that changed from her knowing and flew to
Some grim hidden Past she had never a clue to,