Mandalay

Discussion in 'The VMBB Poets' started by Mithrandir, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Mithrandir

    Mithrandir Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2001
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Durango Colorado, the right knee-pit of Colorado
    By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
    There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
    For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
    "Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"

    Come you back to Mandalay, Where the old Flotilla lay:
    Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
    On the road to Mandalay, Where the flyin'-fishes play,
    An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

    'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
    An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat -- jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
    An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
    An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:

    Bloomin' idol made o'mud --
    Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd --
    Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
    On the road to Mandalay . . .

    When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,
    She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "Kulla-lo-lo!"
    With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' 'er cheek agin' my cheek
    We useter watch the steamers an' the hathis pilin' teak.

    Elephints a-pilin' teak
    In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
    Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
    On the road to Mandalay . . .

    But that's all shove be'ind me -- long ago an' fur away,
    An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;
    An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
    "If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."

    No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
    But them spicy garlic smells,
    An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
    On the road to Mandalay . . .

    I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,
    An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
    Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
    An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?

    Beefy face an' grubby 'and --
    Law! wot do they understand?
    I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
    On the road to Mandalay . . .

    Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
    Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
    For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be --
    By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;

    On the road to Mandalay,
    Where the old Flotilla lay,
    With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
    On the road to Mandalay,
    Where the flyin'-fishes play,
    An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!


    Rudyard Kipling