Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/289

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105
IN THE NEOLITHIC AGE

And I wiped my mouth and said, "It is well that they are dead,
"For I know my work is right and theirs was wrong."


But my Totem saw the shame; from his ridgepole shrine he came,
And he told me in a vision of the night:—
"There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
"And every single one of them is right!"

········

Then the silence closed upon me till They put new clothing on me
Of whiter, weaker flesh and bone more frail;
And I stepped beneath Time's finger once again a tribal singer
And a minor poet certified by Tr—l.


Still they skirmish to and fro, men my messmates on the snow,
When we headed off the aurochs turn for turn;

When the rich Allobrogenses never kept amanuenses,