Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
The Story of Uriah
“Now there were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.”

JACK BARRETT went to Quetta
  Because they told him to.
He left his wife at Simla
  On three-fourths his monthly screw.
Jack Barrett died at Quetta        5
  Ere the next month’s pay he drew.
Jack Barrett went to Quetta.
  He didn’t understand
The reason of his transfer
  From the pleasant mountain-land.        10
The season was September,
  And it killed him out of hand.
Jack Barrett went to Quetta
  And there gave up the ghost,
Attempting two men’s duty        15
  In that very healthy post;
And Mrs. Barrett mourned for him
  Five lively months at most.
Jack Barrett’s bones at Quetta
  Enjoy profound repose;        20
But I shouldn’t be astonished
  If now his spirit knows
The reason of his transfer
  From the Himalayan snows.
And, when the Last Great Bugle Call        25
  Adown the Hurnai throbs,
And the last grim joke is entered
  In the big black Book of Jobs,
And Quetta graveyards give again
  Their victims to the air,        30
I shouldn’t like to be the man
  Who sent Jack Barrett there.

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