Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/63

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49
TO THE UNKNOWN GODDESS

When the light of your eyes shall make pallid the mean lesser lights I pursue,
And the charm of your presence shall lure me from love of the gay "thirteen-two";


When the peg and the pigskin shall please not; when I buy me Calcutta-built clothes;
When I quit the Delight of Wild Asses; forswearing the swearing of oaths;


As a deer to the hand of the hunter when I turn 'mid the gibes of my friends;
When the days of my freedom are numbered, and the life of the bachelor ends.


Ah Goddess! child, spinster, or widow—as of old on Mars Hill when they raised
To the God that they knew not an altar—so I, a young Pagan, have praised


The Goddess I know not nor worship; yet, if half that men tell me be true,
You will come in the future, and therefore the verses are written to you!