Chil’s Song


    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 cried 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 over-bore.
    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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Return to the Rudyard Kipling Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Cholera Camp

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