Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
“For to Admire”
THE INJIAN OCEAN sets an’ smiles
  So sof’, so bright, so bloomin’ blue;
There aren’t a wave for miles an’ miles
  Excep’ the jiggle from the screw.
The ship is swep’, the day is done,        5
  The bugle’s gone for smoke and play;
An’ black ag’in the settin’ sun
  The Lascar sings, “Hum deckty hai!” 1
For to admire an’ for to see,
  For to be’old this world so wide        10
It never done no good to me,
  But I can’t drop it if I tried!
I see the sergeants pitchin’ quoits,
  I ’ear the women laugh an’ talk,
I spy upon the quarter-deck        15
  The orficers an’ lydies walk.
I thinks about the things that was,
  An’ leans an’ looks acrost the sea,
Till, spite of all the crowded ship,
  There’s no one lef’ alive but me.        20
The things that was which I ’ave seen,
  In barrick, camp, an’ action too,
I tells them over by myself,
  An’ sometimes wonders if they’re true;
For they was odd—most awful odd—        25
  But all the same now they are o’er,
There must be ’eaps o’ plenty such,
  An’ if I wait I’ll see some more.
Oh, I ’ave come upon the books,
  An’ frequent broke a barrick-rule,        30
An’ stood beside an’ watched myself
  Be’avin’ like a bloomin’ fool.
I paid my price for findin’ out,
  Nor never grutched the price I paid,
But sat in Clink without my boots,        35
  Admirin’ ’ow the world was made.
Be’old a cloud upon the beam,
  An’ ’umped above the sea appears
Old Aden, like a barrick-stove
  That no one’s lit for years an’ years!        40
I passed by that when I began,
  An’ I go ’ome the road I came,
A time-expired soldier-man
  With six years’ service to ’is name.
My girl she said, “Oh, stay with me!”        45
  My mother ’eld me to ’er breast.
They’ve never written none, an’ so
  They must ’ave gone with all the rest—
With all the rest which I ’ave seen
  An’ found an’ known an’ met along.        50
I cannot say the things I feel,
  And so I sing my evenin’ song:
For to admire an’ for to see,
  For to be’old this world so wide
It never done no good to me,        55
  But I can’t drop it if I tried!
Note 1. I’m looking out. [back]

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