Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
Ford o’ Kabul River
 
KABUL town’s by Kabul river—
  Blow the bugle, draw the sword—
There I lef’ my mate for ever,
  Wet an’ drippin’ by the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,        5
      Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
    There’s the river up and brimmin’, an’ there’s ’arf a squadron swimmin’
      ’Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.
 
Kabul town’s a blasted place—
  Blow the bugle, draw the sword—        10
’Strewth I sha’n’t forget ’is face
  Wet an’ drippin’ by the ford!
    Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
      Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
    Keep the crossing-stakes beside you, an’ they will surely guide you        15
      ’Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.
 
Kabul town is sun and dust—
  Blow the bugle, draw the sword—
I’d ha’ sooner drownded fust
  ’Stead of ’im beside the ford.        20
    Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
      Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
    You can ’ear the ’orses threshin’, you can ’ear the men a-splashin’,
      ’Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.
 
Kabul town was ours to take—        25
  Blow the bugle, draw the sword—
I’d ha’ left it for ’is sake—
  ’Im that left me by the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
      Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!        30
    It’s none so bloomin’ dry there; ain’t you never comin’ nigh there,
      ’Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark?
 
Kabul town ’ll go to hell—
  Blow the bugle, draw the sword—
’Fore I see him ’live an’ well—        35
  ’Im the best beside the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
      Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
    Gawd ’elp ’em if they blunder, for their boots ’ll pull ’em under,
      By the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.        40
 
Turn your ’orse from Kabul town—
  Blow the bugle, draw the sword—
’Im an’ ’arf my troop is down,
  Down and drownded by the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,        45
      Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
    There’s the river low an’ fallin’, but it ain’t no use o’ callin’
      ’Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
 
 
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