Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
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, 1 the bitter Karela,        5
      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;        10
    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        15
      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;        20
    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—        25
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!        30
Note 1. A wild melon. [back]

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