If down here I chance to die,
Solemnly I beg you take
All that is left of “I”
To the Hills for old sake’s sake,
Pack me very thoroughly
In the ice that used to slake
Pegs I drank when I was dry —
This observe for old sake’s sake.

To the railway station hie,
There a single ticket take
For Umballa — goods-train — I
Shall not mind delay or shake.
I shall rest contentedly
Spite of clamor coolies make;
Thus in state and dignity
Send me up for old sake’s sake.

Next the sleepy Babu wake,
Book a Kalka van “for four.”
Few, I think, will care to make
Journeys with me any more
As they used to do of yore.
I shall need a “special” break —
Thing I never took before —
Get me one for old sake’s sake.

After that — arrangements make.
No hotel will take me in,
And a bullock’s back would break
‘Neath the teak and leaden skin
Tonga ropes are frail and thin,
Or, did I a back-seat take,
In a tonga I might spin, —
Do your best for old sake’s sake.

After that — your work is done.
Recollect a Padre must
Mourn the dear departed one —
Throw the ashes and the dust.
Don’t go down at once. I trust
You will find excuse to “snake
Three days’ casual on the bust.”
Get your fun for old sake’s sake.

I could never stand the Plains.
Think of blazing June and May
Think of those September rains
Yearly till the Judgment Day!
I should never rest in peace,
I should sweat and lie awake.
Rail me then, on my decease,
To the Hills for old sake’s sake.

 

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), Indophile and Nobel Laureate, was one of the most well-known writers of tales from the British Raj, in genres of poetry, short story and the novel. His major works include The Jungle Book, Kim, Something of Myself, and many volumes of short stories such as Wee Willie Winkie… Quite of few of his early works were published by A.H. Wheeler and Co. for promotions of Railway Literature and the railways in India.

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