Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
The Lovers’ Litany
EYES of grey—a sodden quay,
Driving rain and falling tears,
As the steamer puts to sea
In a parting storm of cheers.
  Sing, for Faith and Hope are high—        5
  None so true as you and I—
  Sing the Lovers’ Litany:—
  “Love like ours can never die!”
Eyes of black—a throbbing keel,
Milky foam to left and right;        10
Whispered converse near the wheel
In the brilliant tropic night.
  Cross that rules the Southern Sky!
  Stars that sweep, and turn, and fly
  Hear the Lovers’ Litany:—        15
  “Love like ours can never die!”
Eyes of brown—a dusty plain
Split and parched with heat of June.
Flying hoof and tightened rein,
Hearts that beat the ancient tune.        20
  Side by side the horses fly,
  Frame we now the old reply
  Of the Lovers’ Litany:—
  “Love like ours can never die!”
Eyes of blue—the Simla Hills        25
Silvered with the moonlight hoar;
Pleading of the waltz that thrills,
Dies and echoes round Benmore.
  “Mabel,” “Officers,” “Good-bye,”
  Glamour, wine, and witchery—        30
  On my soul’s sincerity,
  “Love like ours can never die!”
Maidens, of your charity,
Pity my most luckless state.
Four times Cupid’s debtor I—        35
Bankrupt in quadruplicate.
  Yet, despite my evil case,
  An a maiden showed me grace,
  Four-and-forty times would I
  Sing the Lovers’ Litany:—        40
  “Love like ours can never die!”

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