Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/306

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"Our friends believe"? Of course they do—as sheltered women may;
But have they seen the shrieking soul ripped from the quivering clay?
They!—If their own front door is shut, they'll swear the whole world's warm;
What do they know of dread of death or hanging fear of harm?

The secret half a county keeps, the whisper in the lane,
The shriek that tells the shot went home behind the broken pane,
The dry blood crisping in the sun that scares the honest bees,
And shows the "bhoys" have heard your talk—what do they know of these?

But you—you know—ay, ten times more; the secrets of the dead,

Black terror on the country-side by word and whisper bred.