Departmental Ditties
and Other Verses


The poems are listed in the order determined by Kipling when he was preparing the collection for publication in Early Verse (1900); click here for a listing by title, here for a listing by first line, and here for a listing by edition.

Title First line Notes
Prelude I have eaten your bread and salt
General Summary We are very slightly changed
Army Headquarters Ahasuerus Jenkins of the “Operatic Own”
Study of an Elevation in Indian Ink Potiphar Gubbins, C.E.
Delilah Delilah Aberystwith was a lady – not too young-
A Legend of the Foreign Office Rustum Beg of Kolazai – slightly backward Native State
The Story of Uriah Jack Barrett went to Quetta
Lucifer Think not, O thou from College late deported
The Post that Fitted Ere the steamer bore him Eastward, Sleary was engaged to marry
A Code of Morals Now Jones had left his new-wed bride to keep his house in order
Public Waste By the Laws of the Family Circle ’tis written in letters of brass
What Happened Hurree Chunder Mookerjee, pride of Bow Bazaar
The Man who could Write Boanerges Blitzen, servant of the Queen
Pink Donimoes Jenny and Me were engaged, you see
The Man and the Shadow If it were mine to choose
Municipal It was an August evening and , in snowy garments clad
The Last Department None whole or clean,’ we cry, ‘or free from stain
My Rival I go to concert, party, ball
To the Unknown Goddess Will you conquer my heart with your beauty, my soul going out from afar?
The Rupaiyat of Omar Kal’vin Now the New Year, reviving Last Year’s Debt
Pagett, M.P. ett, M.P., was a liar, and a fluent liar therewith,-
La Nuit Blanche I had seen, as dawn was breaking
The Lovers’ Litany Eyes of grey – a sodden quay
A Ballade of Burial If down here I chance to die
A Levée in the Plains Come here, ye lasses av swate Parnassis!
The Overland Mail In the name of the Empress of India, make way
Divided Destinies It was an artless Bandar and he danced upon a pine
The Masque of Plenty How sweet is the shepherd’s sweet life!
O Baal, Hear us ! Moralists we
The Mare’s Nest Jane Austen Beecher Stowe de Rouse
The Ballad of Fisher’s Boarding House Twas Fultah Fisher’s boarding-house
The Plaint of the Junior Civilian I have worked for ten seasons or more
Possibilities Ay, lay him ‘neath the Simla pine-
Arithmetic on the Frontier A great and glorious thing it is
Our Lady of Rest The wind in the pine sings Her praises
The Song of the Women How shall she know the worship we would do her?
For the Women We knit a riven land to strength by cannon, code and sword
The Betrothed Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout
A Ballade of Jakko Hill One moment, bid the horses wait
Carmen Simlaense I’ve danced till my shoes are outworn
The Plea of the Simla Dancers What have we ever done to bear this grudge?’
As the Bell Clinks As I left the Halls at Lumley, rose the vision of a comely
A Ballade of Bad Entertainment A wanderer from East to West
Christmas in India Dim dawn behind the tamarisks – the sky is saffron-yellow
New Lamps for Old’ When the flush of the new-born sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold
The Grave of the Hundred Head There’s a widow in sleepy Chester
An Old Song So long as ‘neath the Kalka hills
Certain Maxims of Hafiz If it be pleasant to look on, stalled in the packed serai
The Moon of Other Days Beneath the deep verandah’s shade
The Fall of Jock Gillespie This fell when dinner-time was done-
What the People said By the well, where the bullocks go
The Undertaker’s Horse The eldest son bestrides him
One Viceroy Resigns So here’s your Empire. No more wine, then? Good
The Galley Slave Oh gallant was our galley from her carven steering-wheel
A Tale of Two Cities Where the sober-coloured cultivator smiles
In Springtime My garden blazes brightly with the rose-bush and the peach
Giffen’s Debt Imprimis he was ‘broke’. Thereafter left
Two Months No hope, no change! The clouds have shut us in
Envoi The smoke upon your Altar dies