Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
Morning Song in the Jungle
ONE moment past our bodies cast
  No shadow on the plain;
Now clear and black they stride our track,
  And we run home again.
In morning hush, each rock and bush        5
  Stands hard, and high, and raw:
Then give the Call: “Good rest to all
  That keep the Jungle Law!”
Now horn and pelt our peoples melt
  In covert to abide;        10
Now, crouched and still, to cave and hill
  Our Jungle Barons glide.
Now, stark, and plain, Man’s oxen strain,
  That draw the new-yoked plough;
Now, stripped and dread, the dawn is red        15
  Above the lit talao. 1
Ho! Get to lair! The sun’s aflare
  Behind the breathing grass:
And creaking through the young bamboo
  The warning whispers pass.        20
By day made strange, the woods we range
  With blinking eyes we scan;
While down the skies the wild duck cries:
  “The Day—the Day to Man!”
The dew is dried that drenched our hide,        25
  Or washed about our way;
And where we drank, the puddled bank
  Is crisping into clay.
The traitor Dark gives up each mark
  Of stretched or hooded claw;        30
Then hear the Call: “Good rest to all
  That keep the Jungle Law!”
Note 1. Pond or lake. [back]

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