The Second Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling

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Chil's Song

This is the song that Chil sang as the kites dropped down one after another to the river-bed, when the great fight was finished. Chil is good friends with everybody, but he is a cold-blooded kind of creature at heart, because he knows that almost everybody in the Jungle comes to him in the long-run.

These were my companions going forth by night--
(For Chil! Look you, for Chil!)
Now come I to whistle them the ending of the fight.
(Chil! Vanguards of Chil!)
Word they gave me overhead of quarry newly slain,
Word I gave them underfoot of buck upon the plain.
Here’s an end of every trail--they shall not speak again!

They that called the hunting-cry--they that followed fast--
(For Chil! Look you, for Chil!)
They that bade the sambhur wheel, or pinned him as he passed--
(Chil! Vanguards of Chil!)
They that lagged behind the scent--they that ran before,
They that shunned the level horn--they that overbore.
Here’s an end of every trail--they shall not follow more.

These were my companions. Pity ’twas they died!
(For Chil! Look you, for Chil!)
Now come I to comfort them that knew them in their pride.
(Chil! Vanguards of Chil!)
Tattered flank and sunken eye, open mouth and red,
Locked and lank and lone they lie, the dead upon their dead.
Here’s an end of every trail--and here my hosts are fed.

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