Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/269

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85
THE SACRIFICE OF ER-HEB

They know who dared the anger of Taman,
And watched that night above the clinging mists,
Far up the hill, Bisesa's passing in.


She set her hand upon the carven door,
Fouled by a myriad bats, and black with time,
Whereon is graved the Glory of Taman
In letters older then Ao-Safai;
And twice she turned aside and twice she wept,
Cast down upon the threshold, clamouring
for him she loved—the Man of Sixty Spears,
And for her father,—and the black bull Tor
Hers and her pride. Yea, twice she turned away
Before the awful darkness of the door,
And the great horror of the Wall of Man
Where Man is made the plaything of Taman,
An Eyeless Face that waits above and laughs.


But the third time she cried and put her palms
Against the hewn stone leaves, and prayed Taman
To spare Er-Heb and take her life for price.


They know who watched, the doors were rent apart

And closed upon Bisesa, and the rain