Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/41

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27
PUBLIC WASTE

Many lines had he built and surveyed—important the posts which he held;
And the Lords of the Iron Horse were dumb when he opened his mouth.


Black as the raven his garb, and his heresies jettier still—
Hinting that Railways required lifetimes of study and knowledge—
Never clanked sword by his side—Vauban he knew not, nor drill—
Nor was his name on the list of men who had passed through the "College."


Wherefore the Little Tin Gods harried their little tin souls,
Seeing he came not from Chatham, jingled no spurs at his heels,
Knowing that, nevertheless, was he first on the Government rolls
For the billet of "Railway Instructor to Little Tin Gods on Wheels."


Letters not seldom they wrote him, "having the honour to state,"