Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

A Ballad Of Burial

Poem by Rudyard Kipling

If down here I chance to die,
Solemnly I beg you take
All that is left of "I"
To the Hills for old sake's sake,
Pack me very thoroughly
In the ice that used to slake
Pegs I drank when I was dry --
This observe for old sake's sake.

To the railway station hie,
There a single ticket take
For Umballa -- goods-train -- I
Shall not mind delay or shake.
I shall rest contentedly
Spite of clamor coolies make;
Thus in state and dignity
Send me up for old sake's sake.

Next the sleepy Babu wake,
Book a Kalka van "for four."
Few, I think, will care to make
Journeys with me any more
As they used to do of yore.
I shall need a "special" break --
Thing I never took before --
Get me one for old sake's sake.

After that -- arrangements make.
No hotel will take me in,
And a bullock's back would break
'Neath the teak and leaden skin
Tonga ropes are frail and thin,
Or, did I a back-seat take,
In a tonga I might spin, --
Do your best for old sake's sake.

After that -- your work is done.
Recollect a Padre must
Mourn the dear departed one --
Throw the ashes and the dust.
Don't go down at once. I trust
You will find excuse to "snake
Three days' casual on the bust."
Get your fun for old sake's sake.

I could never stand the Plains.
Think of blazing June and May
Think of those September rains
Yearly till the Judgment Day!
I should never rest in peace,
I should sweat and lie awake.
Rail me then, on my decease,
To the Hills for old sake's sake.


Comments about A Ballad Of Burial by Rudyard Kipling

  • Jane Campion (6/24/2019 3:49:00 PM)

    I love the rhythm in this poem.(Report)Reply

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  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (6/24/2019 1:35:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem with an interesting narrative created around Indian practices, seasonal changes and their impact on life. Let us not forget that Kipling was born in India and spent many years here before moving over to England.(Report)Reply

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  • Julia Luber (6/24/2019 12:41:00 PM)

    Clever poem about how one's body is treated after death: meaningful and astute.(Report)Reply

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  • Ruta MohapatraRuta Mohapatra (6/24/2019 11:53:00 AM)

    Hills are really nice places for one's eternal sleep. Thanks for sharing!(Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (6/24/2019 11:15:00 AM)

    Mourn the dear departed one! ! ! ! !


    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (6/24/2019 6:43:00 AM)

    A stunning desire about one's own burial after death has been expressed in ter alia giving the minutest details thereof along with reasons behind every thing in this beautifully crafted melody by the great poet. A well deserved classic poem of the Day.(Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (6/24/2019 3:14:00 AM)

    It is brilliant poem having touching expression.(Report)Reply

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  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (6/24/2019 1:25:00 AM)

    Throw the ashes and the dust.
    Don't go down at once. I trust
    You will find excuse to " snake
    Three days' casual on the bust."
    Get your fun for old sake's sake.

    superb
    great 10++++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (6/24/2019 12:17:00 AM)

    One of the best poems by Rudyard Kipling........(Report)Reply

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  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/28/2014 6:09:00 AM)

    You surely know how to wrote, I like each and every poem of yours(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Captain Herbert PoetryCaptain Herbert Poetry (4/27/2014 10:03:00 AM)

    A personal story poem. With sadness(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 11 comments »




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Read poems about / on: september, snake, june, fun, trust, work, peace, ballad, journey



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002