Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/265

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81
THE SACRIFICE OF ER-HEB

Then said Bisesa to the Priests at dusk,
When the white mist rose up breast-high and choked
The voices in the houses of the dead:β€”
"Yabosh and Kysh avail not. If the Horse
"Reach the Unlighted Shrine we surely die.
"Ye have forgotten of all Gods the Chief
"Taman!" Here rolled the thunder through the Hill.
And Yabosh shook upon his pedestal.
"Ye have forgotten of all Gods the chief
"Too long." And all were dumb save one who cried
On Yabosh with the Sapphire 'twixt His knees
But found no answer in the smoky roof
And, being smitten of the sickness died
Before the altar of the Sapphire Shrine.


Then said Bisesa:β€”"I am near to Death,
"And have the Wisdom of the Grave for gift
"To bear me on the path my feet must tread.
"If there be wealth on earth, then I am rich,
"For Armod is the first of all Er-Heb;
"If there be beauty on the earth,"β€”her eyes
Dropped for a moment to the temple floor,β€”
"Ye know that I am fair. If there be Love,

"Ye know that love is mine." The Chief in War,