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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Friends

(From the "Brazilian Verses")
1927
I HAD some friends-but I dreamed that they were dead-
Who used to dance with lanterns round a little boy in bed; 
Green and white lanterns that waved to and fro:
But I haven't seen a Firefly since ever so long ago! 

I had some friends-their crowns were in the sky-
Who used to nod and whisper when a little boy went by, 
As the nuts began to tumble and the breeze began to blow: 
And I haven't seen a Cocoa-palm since ever so long ago! 

I had a friend-he came up from Cape Horn,
With a Coal-sack on his shoulder when a little boy was born. 
He heard me learn to talk, and he helped me thrive and grow: 
But I haven't seen the Southern Cross since ever so long ago! 

I had a boat-I out and let her drive,
Till I found my dream was foolish, for my friends were all alive. 
The Cocoa-palms were real, and the Southern Cross was true: 
And the Fireflies were dancing-so I danced too!

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