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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Song of the Little Hunter

"The King Ankus"--The Second Jungle Book


Ere Mor the Peacock flutters, ere the Monkey People cry, Ere Chil the Kite swoops down a furlong sheer, Through the Jungle very softly flits a shadow and a sigh-- He is Fear, O Little Hunter, he is Fear! Very softly down the glade runs a waiting, watching shade, And the whisper spreads and widens far and near. And the sweat is on thy brow, for he passes even now-- He is Fear, O Little Hunter, he is Fear! Ere the moon has climbed the mountain, ere the rocks are ribbed with light, When the downward-dipping trails are dank and drear, Comes a breathing hard behind thee--snuffle-snuffle through the night-- It is Fear, O Little Hunter it is Fear, On thy knees and draw the bow; bid the shrilling arrow go; In the empty, mocking thicket plunge the spear! But thy hands are loosed and weak, and the blood has left thy cheek-- It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear! When the heat-cloud sucks the tempest, when the slivered pine-trees fall, When the blinding, blaring rain-squalls lash and veer, Through the war-gongs of the thunder rings a voice more loud than all-- It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear! Now the spates are banked and deep; now the footless boulders leap-- Now the lightning shows each littlest leaf--rib clear-- But thy throat is shut and dried, and thy heart against thy side Hammers: Fear, O Little Hunter--this is Fear!

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