Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/314

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TOMLINSON

And the naked soul of Tomlinson grew white as a rain-washed bone.
"O, I have a friend on earth," he said, "that was my priest and guide,
"And well would he answer all for me if he were by my side."
—"For that ye strove in neighbour-love it shall be written fair,
"But now ye wait at Heaven's Gate and not in Berkeley Square:
"Though we called your friend from his bed this night, he could not speak for you,
"For the race is run by one and one and never by two and two."
Then Tomlinson looked up and down, and little gain was there,
For the naked stars grinned overhead, and he saw that his soul was bare:
The Wind that blows between the worlds, it cut him like a knife,
And Tomlinson took up his tale and spoke of his good in life.

"This I have read in a book," he said, "and that was told to me,