After the burial-parties leave
And the baffled kites have fled;
The wise hyaenas come out at eve
To take account of our dead.
How he died and why he died
Troubles them not a whit.
They snout the bushes and stones aside
And dig till they come to it.
They are only resolute they shall eat
That they and their mates may thrive,
And they know that the dead are safer meat
Than the weakest thing alive.
(For a goat may butt, and a worm may sting,
And a child will sometimes stand;
But a poor dead soldier of the King
Can never lift a hand.)
They whoop and halloo and scatter the dirt
Until their tushes white
Take good hold in the army shirt,
And tug the corpse to light,
And the pitiful face is shewn again
For an instant ere they close;
But it is not discovered to living men --
Only to God and to those
Who, being soulless, are free from shame,
Whatever meat they may find.
Nor do they defile the dead man's name --
That is reserved for his kind.
Rudyard Kipling's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Hyaenas by Rudyard Kipling )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- When You Are Old, William Butler Yeats
Poem of the Day
- Devotional Plead to the Universal Mother*, Tushar Ray
- Living Life I Profess, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Self-learning School, Tushar Ray
- Theo van B, Hugh Mitchell
- Feather Rose haiku, Kayla Daley
- Daytime shooting star, Kayla Daley
- Yin yang tattoo Tanka, Kayla Daley
- Rain, Jordy lustig
- Passion and Risks, UMBELINA FROTA Linhares Pime ..
- Snip!, Lawrence Beck