The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900

The Lovers' Litany (Rudyard Kipling)

Eyes of grey—a sodden quay,
Driving rain and falling tears,
As the steamer wears to sea
In a parting storm of cheers.
   Sing, for Faith and Hope are high
   None so true as you and I—
   Sing the Lovers' Litany:—
   "Love like ours can never die."

Eyes of black—a throbbing keel,
Milky foam to left and right;
Whispered converse near the wheel
In the brilliant tropic night.
   Cross that rules the Southern Sky
   Stars that sweep and wheel and fly
   Hear the Lovers' Litany:—
   "Love like ours can never die." 

Eyes of brown—a dusty plain
Split and parched with heat of June
Flying hoof and tightened rein;
Hearts that beat the old old tune.
   Side by side the horses fly,
   Frame we now the old reply
   Of the Lovers' Litany:—
   "Love like ours can never die."

Eyes of blue—the Simla Hills
Silvered with the moonlight hoar;
Pleading of the waltz that thrills,
Dies and echoes round Benmore.

   "Mabel," "Officers," "Goodbye,"
   Glamour, wine and witchery
   On my soul's sincerity,
   "Love like ours can never die."

Maidens of your charity
Pity my most luckless state.
Four times Cupid's debtor I
Bankrupt in quadruplicate.
   Spite of Cupid's perjury
   If another maid would try
   I dare sing the Litany—
   Sing the Lovers' Litany

   "Love like ours can never die."

Place-name: Simla (already indexed)
Place-name: Benmore -- a popular public assembly hall in Simla, which hosted dances and concerts between 1872 and 1885. Beginning in 1886, the hall was sold to the government of Punjab, and converted into office space for  the growing government bureaucracy. 

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