Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/64

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THE RUPAIYAT OF OMAR KAL'VIN

[Allowing for the difference 'twixt prose and rhymed exaggeration, this ought to reproduce the sense of what Sir A —— told the nation some time ago, when the Government struck from our incomes two per cent.]

Now the New Year, reviving last Year's Debt,
The thoughtful Fisher casteth wide his Net;
So I with begging Dish and ready Tongue
Assail all Men for all that I can get.


Imports indeed are gone with all their Dues—
Lo! Salt a Lever that I dare not use,
Nor may I ask the Tillers in Bengal—
Surely my Kith and Kin will not refuse


Pay—and I promise by the Dust of Spring,
Retrenchment. If my promises can bring
Comfort, Ye have them now a thousand-fold—
By Allah! I will promise Anything!


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