famous poetry
| Famous Poetry | Roleplay | Free Video Tutorials | Online Poetry Club | Free Education | Best of Youtube | Ear Training

The Ballad Of The King's Jest Analysis



Author: Poetry of Rudyard Kipling Type: Poetry Views: 318

Sponsored Links





When spring-time flushes the desert grass,

Our kafilas wind through the Khyber Pass.

Lean are the camels but fat the frails,

Light are the purses but heavy the bales,

As the snowbound trade of the North comes down

To the market-square of Peshawur town.



In a turquoise twilight, crisp and chill,

A kafila camped at the foot of the hill.

Then blue smoke-haze of the cooking rose,

And tent-peg answered tohammer-nose;

And the picketed ponies, shag and wild,

Strained at their ropes as the feed was piled;

And the bubbling camels beside the load

Sprawled for a furlong adown the road;

And the Persian pussy-cats, brought for sale,

Spat at the dogs from the camel-bale;

And the tribesmen bellowed to hasten the food;

And the camp-fires twinkled by Fort Jumrood;

And there fled on the wings of the gathering dusk

A savour of camels and carpets and musk,

A murmur of voices, a reek of smoke,

To tell us the trade of the Khyber woke.



The lid of the flesh-pot chattered high,

The knives were whetted and -- then came I

To Mahbub Ali the muleteer,

Patching his bridles and counting his gear,

Crammed with the gossip of half a year.

But Mahbub Ali the kindly said,

"Better is speech when the belly is fed."

So we plunged the hand to the mid-wrist deep

In a cinnamon stew of the fat-tailed sheep,

And he who never hath tasted the food,

By Allah! he knoweth not bad from good.



We cleansed our beards of the mutton-grease,

We lay on the mats and were filled with peace,

And the talk slid north, and the talk slid south,

With the sliding puffs from the hookah-mouth.

Four things greater than all things are, --

Women and Horses and Power and War.

We spake of them all, but the last the most,

For I sought a word of a Russian post,

Of a shifty promise, an unsheathed sword

And a gray-coat guard on the Helmund ford.

Then Mahbub Ali lowered his eyes

In the fashion of one who is weaving lies.

Quoth he:"Of the Russians who can say?

When the night is gathering all is gray.

But we look that the gloom of the night shall die

In the morning flush of a blood-red sky.

Friend of my heart, is it meet or wise

To warn a King of his enemies?

We know what Heaven or Hell may bring,

But no man knoweth the mind of the King.

That unsought counsel is cursed of God

Attesteth the story of Wali Dad.



"His sire was leaky of tongue and pen,

His dam was a clucking Khuttuck hen;

And the colt bred close to the vice of each,

For he carried the curse of an unstanched speech.

Therewith madness -- so that he sought

The favour of kings at the Kabul court;

And travelled, in hope of honour, far

To the line where the gray-coat squadrons are.

There have I journeyed too -- but I

Saw naught, said naught, and -- did not die!

He harked to rumour, and snatched at a breath

Of `this one knoweth' and `that one saith', --

Legends that ran from mouth to mouth

Of a gray-coat coming, and sack of the South.

These have I also heard -- they pass

With each new spring and the winter grass.



"Hot-foot southward, forgotten of God,

Back to the city ran Wali Dad,

Even to Kabul -- in full durbar

The King held talk with his Chief in War.

Into the press of the crowd he broke,

And what he had heard of the coming spoke.



"Then Gholam Hyder, the Red Chief, smiled,

As a mother might on a babbling child;

But those who would laugh restrained their breath,

When the face of the King showed dark as death.

Evil it is in full durbar

To cry to a ruler of gathering war!

Slowly he led to a peach-tree small,

That grew by a cleft of the city wall.

And he said to the boy:`They shall praise thy zeal

So long as the red spurt follows the steel.

And the Russ is upon us even now?

Great is thy prudence -- await them, thou.

Watch from the tree.Thou art young and strong,

Surely thy vigil is not for long.

The Russ is upon us, thy clamour ran?

Surely an hour shall bring their van.

Wait and watch.When the host is near,

Shout aloud that my men may hear.'



"Friend of my heart, is it meet or wise

To warn a King of his enemies?

A guard was set that he might not flee --

A score of bayonets ringed the tree.

The peach-bloom fell in showers of snow,

When he shook at his death as he looked below.

By the power of God, who alone is great,

Till the seventh day he fought with his fate.

Then madness took him, and men declare

He mowed in the branches as ape and bear,

And last as a sloth, ere his body failed,

And he hung as a bat in the forks, and wailed,

And sleep the cord of his hands untied,

And he fell, and was caught on the points and died.



"Heart of my heart, is it meet or wise

To warn a King of his enemies?

We know what Heaven or Hell may bring,

But no man knoweth the mind of the King.

Of the gray-coat coming who can say?

When the night is gathering all is gray.

Two things greater than all things are,

The first is Love, and the second War.

And since we know not how War may prove,

Heart of my heart, let us talk of Love!"










Sponsor



Learn to Play Songs by Ear: Ear Training

122 Free Video Tutorials

[Video Tutorial] How to build google chrome extensions

Please add me on youtube. I make free educational video tutorials on youtube such as Basic HTML and CSS.

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. Online College Education is now free!



||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

There have been no submitted criqiques, be the first to add one below.


Post your Analysis




Message

Free Online Education from Top Universities

Yes! It's true. College Education is now free!







Most common keywords

The Ballad Of The King's Jest Analysis Rudyard Kipling critical analysis of poem, review school overview. Analysis of the poem. literary terms. Definition terms. Why did he use? short summary describing. The Ballad Of The King's Jest Analysis Rudyard Kipling Characters archetypes. Sparknotes bookrags the meaning summary overview critique of explanation pinkmonkey. Quick fast explanatory summary. pinkmonkey free cliffnotes cliffnotes ebook pdf doc file essay summary literary terms analysis professional definition summary synopsis sinopsis interpretation critique The Ballad Of The King's Jest Analysis Rudyard Kipling itunes audio book mp4 mp3 mit ocw Online Education homework forum help



Poetry 184
Poetry 161
Poetry 60
Poetry 180
Poetry 200
Poetry 38
Poetry 120
Poetry 208
Poetry 18
Poetry 104
Poetry 60
Poetry 21
Poetry 99
Poetry 187
Poetry 66
Poetry 54
Poetry 133
Poetry 4
Poetry 216
Poetry 191