Treasure Island

Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

Dirge Of The Dead Sisters


Who recalls the twilight and the ranged tents in order
(Violet peaks uplifted through the crystal evening air?)
And the clink of iron teacups and the piteous, noble laughter,
And the faces of the Sisters with the dust upon their hair?

(Now and not hereafter, while the breath is in our nostrils,
Now and not hereafter, ere the meaner years go by -
Let us now remember many honourable women,
Such as bade us turn again when we were like to die.)

Who recalls the morning and the thunder through the foothills,
(Tufts of fleecy shrapnel strung along the empty plains?)
And the sun-scarred Red-Cross coaches creeping guarded to the culvert,
And the faces of the Sisters looking gravely from the trains?

(When the days were torment and the nights were clouded terror,
When the Powers of Darkness had dominion on our soul -
When we fled consuming through the Seven Hells of Fever,
These put out their hands to us and healed and made us whole.)

Who recalls the midnight by the bridge's wrecked abutment,
(Autumn rain that rattled like a Maxim on the tin?)
And the lightning-dazzled levels and the streaming, straining wagons,
And the faces of the Sisters as they bore the wounded in?

(Till the pain was merciful and stunned us into silence -
When each nerve cried out on God that made the misused clay;
When the Body triumphed and the last poor shame departed -
These abode our agonies and wiped the sweat away.)

Who recalls the noontide and the funerals through the market,
(Blanket-hidden bodies, flagless, followed by the flies?)
And the footsore firing-party, and the dust and stench and staleness,
And the faces of the Sisters and the glory in their eyes?

(Bold behind the battle, in the open camp all-hallowed,
Patient, wise, and mirthful in the ringed and reeking town,
These endured unresting till they rested from their labours -
Little wasted bodies, ah, so light to lower down!)

Yet their graves are scattered and their names are clean forgotten,
Earth shall not remember, but the Waiting Angel knows
Them who died at Uitvlugt when the plague was on the city -
Her that fell at Simon's Town' in service on our foes.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Dirge Of The Dead Sisters by Rudyard Kipling )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. Fear of God?, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  2. Keep On Groovin', Lawrence S. Pertillar
  3. Benefits For Them Do Not Exist, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  4. Come close, hasmukh amathalal
  5. Cows caught, gajanan mishra
  6. Discovering God's Will, Tom Zart
  7. Shining later, hasmukh amathalal
  8. Memory, Liffy Liu
  9. Merciful and kind, hasmukh amathalal
  10. Achilles Awaking, Louis Borgo

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Randall Jarrell

 

Trending Poems

  1. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  4. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]