Ford O' Kabul River

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)



Kabul town's by Kabul river --
 Blow the bugle, draw the sword --
There I lef' my mate for ever,
 Wet an' drippin' by the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o' Kabul river,
     Ford o' Kabul river in the dark!
    There's the river up and brimmin', an' there's 'arf a squadron swimmin'
     'Cross the ford o' Kabul river in the dark.
 
Kabul town's a blasted place --
 Blow the bugle, draw the sword --
'Strewth I sha'n't forget 'is face
 Wet an' drippin' by the ford!
    Ford, ford, ford o' Kabul river,
     Ford o' Kabul river in the dark!
    Keep the crossing-stakes beside you, an' they will surely guide you
     'Cross the ford o' Kabul river in the dark.
 
Kabul town is sun and dust --
 Blow the bugle, draw the sword --
I'd ha' sooner drownded fust
 'Stead of 'im beside the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o' Kabul river,
     Ford o' Kabul river in the dark!
    You can 'ear the 'orses threshin', you can 'ear the men a-splashin',
     'Cross the ford o' Kabul river in the dark.
 
Kabul town was ours to take --
 Blow the bugle, draw the sword --
I'd ha' left it for 'is sake --
 'Im that left me by the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o' Kabul river,
     Ford o' Kabul river in the dark!
    It's none so bloomin' dry there; ain't you never comin' nigh there,
     'Cross the ford o' Kabul river in the dark?
 
Kabul town'll go to hell --
 Blow the bugle, draw the sword --
'Fore I see him 'live an' well --
 'Im the best beside the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o' Kabul river,
     Ford o' Kabul river in the dark!
    Gawd 'elp 'em if they blunder, for their boots'll pull 'em under,
     By the ford o' Kabul river in the dark.
 
Turn your 'orse from Kabul town --
 Blow the bugle, draw the sword --
'Im an' 'arf my troop is down,
 Down an' drownded by the ford.
    Ford, ford, ford o' Kabul river,
     Ford o' Kabul river in the dark!
    There's the river low an' fallin', but it ain't no use o' callin'
     'Cross the ford o' Kabul river in the dark.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 30, 2023

1:53 min read
560

Quick analysis:

Scheme aBaBACdC eBeBACxC fBfbACdC gBgbACxC hBhbACac dBdbACdC
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,915
Words 365
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India and his tales for children. more…

All Rudyard Kipling poems | Rudyard Kipling Books

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