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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Dove of Dacca

1892


The freed dove flew to the Rajah's tower -- Fled from the slaughter of Moslem kings -- And the thorns have covered the city of Gaur, Dove -- dove -- oh, homing dove! Little white traitor, with woe on thy wings! The Rajah of Dacca rode under the wall; He set in his bosom a dove of flight -- "If she return, be sure that I fall." Dove -- dove -- oh, homing dove! Pressed to his heart in the thick of the fight. "Fire the palace, the fort, and the keep -- Leave to the foeman no spoil at all. In the flame of the palace lie down and sleep If the dove -- if the dove -- if the homing dove Come, and alone, to the palace wall." The Kings of the North they were scattered abroad -- The Rajah of Dacca he slew them all. Hot from slaughter he stooped at the ford, And the dove -- the dove -- oh, the homing dove! She thought of her cote on the palace-wall. She opened her wings and she flew away -- Fluttered away beyond recall; She came to the palace at break of day. Dove -- dove -- oh, homing dove, Flying so fast for a kingdom's fall! The Queens of Dacca they slept in flame Slept in the flame of the palace old -- To save their honour from Moslem shame. And the dove -- the dove -- oh, the homing dove, She cooed to her young where the smoke-cloud rolled! The Rajah of Dacca rode far and fleet, Followed as fast as a horse could fly, He came and the palace was black at his feet; And the dove -- the dove -- the homing dove, Circled alone in the stainless sky. So the dove flew to the Rajah's tower -- Fled from the slaughter of Moslem kings; So the thorns covered the city of Gaur, And Dacca was lost for a white dove's wings. Dove -- dove -- oh, homing dove, Dacca is lost from the Roll of the Kings!

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