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

" 'Way Down the Ravee River" (Rudyard Kipling)

I wandered by the river side,
      To gaze upon the view,
And watched the Alligator glide
      After the dead Hindoo,
Who stank and sank beneath the tide,
      Then rose and stank anew.

The evening dews were falling fast,
      The damp, unwholesome dew;
The river rippled 'neath the blast,
      The black crow roostward flew;
And swift the Alligator passed
      In chase of that Hindoo.

And, from the margin of the tide,
      I watched the twain that fled—
The Alligator, scaly-thighed,
      Close pressed the flying dead
Who gazed, with eyeballs opened wide,
      Upward, but nothing said.

And many a time at eventide,
      As night comes on anew,
I think upon the river side
      Where, gazing on the view,
I watched the Alligator glide
      After his dead Hindoo.

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