Outsong in the Jungle

(notes by Alan Underwood)

Publication

In The Second Jungle Book (1895) linked to the story “The Spring Running”.

Below the title it is explained that this is the song Mowgli heard behind him as he left the Jungle. There are three verses of ten couplets attributed to Baloo, Kaa, and Bagheera, and five tripled lines to “The Three”.

The poem is collected as “Outsong in the Jungle” in Songs from Books (1912). The penultimate line of the last verse: ‘Wisdom, Strength and Courtesy; was not included in the First English Edition.

Notes on the Text

[Verse 1, line 17] spathe a large leaf or leaves around a flower cluster. Baloo, who mainly feeds on roots and fruit, is the botanist of the three, and had taught Mowgli which plants were good to eat.

[Verse 1, line 18] scathe harm or injury.

[F. A. U.]

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