Mowgli's Song Against People


I will let loose against you the fleet-footed vines,
I will call in the Jungle to stamp out your lines!
The roofs shall fade before it,
The house-beams shall    fall;
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all!

In the gates of these your councils my people shall sing.
In the doors of these your garners the Bat-folk shall cling;
And the snake shall be your watchman,
By a hearthstone unswept;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall fruit where ye slept!

Ye shall not see my strikers; ye shall hear them and guess.
By night, before the moon-rise, I will send for my cess,
And the wolf shall be your herdsman
By a landmark removed;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall seed where ye loved!

I will reap your fields before you at the hands of a host.
Ye shall glean behind my reapers for the bread that is lost;
And the deer shall be your oxen
On a headland untilled;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall leaf where ye build!
I have untied against you the club-footed vines,
I have sent in the Jungle to swamp out your lines!
The trees, the trees are on you!
The house-beams shall fall;
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover you all!


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Return to the Rudyard Kipling Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Mulholland's Contract

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.