The Second Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling

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A Ripple Song

Once a ripple came to land
     In the golden sunset burning--
Lapped against a maiden’s hand,
     By the ford returning.

Dainty foot and gentle breast--
     Here, across, be glad and rest.
“Maiden, wait,” the ripple saith.
     “Wait awhile, for I am Death!”

“Where my lover calls I go--
     Shame it were to treat him coldly--
’Twas a fish that circled so,
     Turning over boldly.”

Dainty foot and tender heart,
     Wait the loaded ferry-cart.
“Wait, ah, wait!” the ripple saith;
     “Maiden, wait, for I am Death!”

“When my lover calls I haste--
     Dame Disdain was never wedded!”
Ripple-ripple round her waist,
     Clear the current eddied.

Foolish heart and faithful hand,
     Little feet that touched no land.
Far away the ripple sped,
     Ripple--ripple--running red!


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