Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

Two Kopjes


(Made Yeomanry towards End of Boer War)

Only two African kopjes,
Only the cart-tracks that wind
Empty and open between 'em,
Only the Transvaal behind;
Only an Aldershot column
Marching to conquer the land . . .
Only a sudden and solemn
Visit, unarmed, to the Rand.

Then scorn not the African kopje,
The kopje that smiles in the heat,
The wholly unoccupied kopje,
The home of Cornelius and Piet.
You can never be sure of your kopje,
But of this be you blooming well sure,
A kopje is always a kopje,
And a Boojer is always a Boer!

Only two African kopjes,
Only the vultures above,
Only baboons--at the bottom,
Only some buck on the move;
Only a Kensington draper
Only pretending to scout . . .
.Only bad news for the paper,
Only another knock-out.


Then mock not the African kopje,
And rub not your flank on its side,
The silent and simmering kopje,
The kopje beloved by the guide.
You can never be, etc.


Only two African kopjes,
Only the dust of their wheels,
Only a bolted commando,
Only our guns at their heels . . .
Only a little barb-wire,
Only a natural fort,
Only "by sections retire,"
Only "regret to report! "

Then mock not the .African kopje,
Especially when it is twins,
One sharp and one table-topped kopje
For that's where the trouble begins.
You never can be, etc.


Only two African kopjes
Baited the same as before--
Only we've had it so often,
Only we're taking no more . . .
Only a wave to our troopers,
Only our flanks swinging past,
Only a dozen voorloopers,.
Only we've learned it at last!


Then mock not the African kopje,
But take off your hat to the same,
The patient, impartial old kopje,
The kopje that taught us the game!
For all that we knew in the Columns,
And all they've forgot on the Staff,
We learned at the Fight o' Two Kopjes,
Which lasted two years an' a half.


0 mock not the African kopje,
Not even when peace has been signed--
The kopje that isn't a kopje--
The kopje that copies its kind.
You can never be sure of your kopje,
But of this be you blooming well sure,
That a kopje is always a kopje,
And a Boojer is always a Boer!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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

Read poems about / on: war, peace, wind, home, smile

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 (Two Kopjes by Rudyard Kipling )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Someday, Johnny Goyena
  2. Girl, He Never Loved You, Ronell Warren Alman
  3. Writing on the wall, Nassy Fesharaki
  4. The Poetry of Onkar Nath Gupta, Bijay Kant Dubey
  5. So sorry, gajanan mishra
  6. My Dream Tonight, Wilfred Mellers
  7. To Joyce, Roger A. Rose
  8. Miriam's danse, Dimitri Khokhlov
  9. The harp players, Mark Heathcote
  10. Heil Britannia, Francie Lynch

Poem of the Day

poet Christina Georgina Rossetti

Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]