Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/73

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59
LA NUIT BLANCHE

Then a Face came, blind and weeping,
And It couldn't wipe Its eyes,
And It muttered I was keeping
Back the moonlight from the skies;
So I patted It for pity,
But It whistled shrill with wrath,
And a huge, black Devil City
Poured its peoples on my path.


So I fled with steps uncertain
On a thousand-year long race,
But the bellying of the curtain
Kept me always in one place;
While the tumult rose and maddened
To the roar of Earth on fire,
Ere it ebbed and sank and saddened
To a whisper tense as wire.


In intolerable stillness
Rose one little, little star,
And it chuckled at my illness,

And it mocked me from afar;