Songs from Books

Poems linked to stories 1888-1910

(by book in date order)

(Notes edited by various hands)

These are the verses chosen by Kipling for  the 1913 U.K. edition of Songs from Books.  Those poems from Just So Stories and The Jungle Books marked in red did not appear in the American edition of 1912. 

The poems are listed by the books in which they appear and the stories and chapters to which they relate.  click here for a listing by first line, and  here for a listing by title,.

Title Story First line Notes
PLAIN TALES FROM THE HILLS (1888)
The Love Song of Har Dyal Beyond the Pale Alone upon the housetops to the North
Tarrant Moss Wressley of the Foreign Office I closed and drew for my love’s sake
Hadramauti A Friend’s Friend Who knows the heart of the Christian? How does reason ?
By the Hoof of the Wild Goat To be Filed for Reference By the Hoof of the Wild Goat uptossed
THE STORY OF THE GADSBYS(1888)
The Winners The Story of the Gadsbys What is the moral? Who rides may read
LIFE’S HANDICAP (1890)
My New-Cut Ashlae Life’s Handicap . My new-cut ashlar takes the light .
THE LIGHT THAT FAILED(1891)
Mother o’ Mine . Dedication If I were hanged on the highest hill .
Heriot’s Ford Chapter X I What’s that that hirples at my side?’
Blue Roses Chapter VII Roses red and roses white .
The Widower Chapter XII For a season there must be pain
THE NAULAHKA(1892)
The Sack of the Gods The Naulahka XVII Strangers drawn from the ends of the earth, jewelled and plumed were we
The Kingdom The Naulahka  XVIII Now we are come to our Kingdom
The Nursing Sister. The Naulahka XX Our sister sayeth such and such
My Lady’s Law The Naulahka XXI The Law whereby my lady moves
MANY INVENTIONS (1893)
Song of the Galley-slaves The Finest Story in the World We pulled for you when the wind was against us
The Prayer of Miriam Cohen The Disturber of Traffic From the wheel and the drift of Things
The Only Son. In the Rukh She dropped the bar, she shot the bolt, she fed the fire anew
THE JUNGLE BOOK(1894)
Hunting Song of the Seeonee Pack Mowgli’s Brothers As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belied
Road-Song of the Bandar-log Kaa’s Hunting Here we go in a flung festoon
Lukannon The White Seal I met my mates in the morning (and oh but I am old!)
Shiv and the Grasshopper Toomai of the Elephants Shiv, who poured the harvest and made the winds to blow
Darzee’s Chaunt Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Singer and tailor am I
Parade-Song of the Camp-Animals .­ Her Majesty’s Servants We lent to Alexander the strength of Hercules
THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK(1895)
Outsong in the Jungle The Spring Running For the sake of him who showed
Mowgli’s Song against People Letting in the Jungle I will let loose against you the fleet-footed vines
A Ripple Song. The Undertakers Once a ripple came to land
Angutivaun Taina Quiquern Our gloves are stiff with the frozen blood .
The Song of the Little Hunter. The King’s Ankus. Ere Mor the Peacock flutters, ere the Monkey People cry
The Law of the Jungle How Fear Came Now this is the Law of the Jungle-as old and as true as the sky
A Song of Kabir The Miracle of Purun Bhagat Oh, light was the world that he weighed in his hands!
Morning Song in the Jungle Letting in the Jungle One moment past our bodies cast
Chil’s Song Red Dog These were my companions going forth by night
THE DAY’S WOREK (1898)
The City of Sleep The Day’s Work Over the edge of the purple down
STALKY & CO. (1899)
A School Song Stalky & Co. ‘Let us now praise famous men’
KIM (1901)
The Wishing Caps Kim IV Life’s all getting and giving
The Prodigal Son Kim V Here come I to my own again
The Two-Sided Man Kim VIII Much I owe to the Land that grew .
Gow’s Watch Kim X Your tiercel’s too long at hack, Sir. He’s no eyass .
The Juggler’s Song . Kim XI When the drums begin to beat .
The Prayer Kim XIV My Brother kneels, so saith Kabir .
The Fairies’ Siege Kim XV I have been given my charge to keep
JUST SO STORIES (1902)
When the cabin portholes How the Whale got his Throat When the cabin port-holes are dark and green .
When the cabin portholes … How the Whale got his Throat When the cabin port-holes are dark and green .
The Camel’s Hump How the Camel got his Hump The Camel’s hump is an ugly lump
I am the Most Wise Baviaan How the Leopard got his Spots I am the Most Wise Baviaan, saying in most wise tones
I Keep Six Honest Serving-men The Elephant’s Child I keep six honest serving-men
This is the mouth-filling song The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo. This is the mouth-filling song of the race that was run by a Boomer
I’ve never sailed the Amazon The Beginning of the Armadilloes I’ve never sailed the Amazon
Pussy can sit by the fire The Cat that Walked by Himself Pussy can sit by the fire and sing
There was never a Queen like Balkis The Butterfly that Stamped There was never a Queen like Balkis
TRAFFICS AND DISCOVERIES(1904)
The Heritage The Army of a Dream Our Fathers in a wondrous age .
The King’s Task The Comprehension of Private Copper After the sack of the City, when Rome was sunk to a name
Butterflies . Wireless Eyes aloft, over dangerous places
The Necessitarian Steam Tactics I know not in Whose hands are laid .
The Return of the Children They Neither the harps nor the crowns amused, nor the cherubs’ dove-winged races .
The Egg-shell Their Lawful Occasions The wind took off with the sunset
,Our Fathers also’ . Below the Mill Dam Thrones, Powers, Dominions, Peoples, Kings
Poseidon’s Law . The Bonds of Discipline When the robust and Brass-bound Man commissioned first for sea
The Wet Litany Their Lawful Occasions When the water’s countenance
The Captive The Captive Not with an outcry to Allah nor any complaining
PUCK OF POOK’S HILL (1905)
Puck’s Song Weland’s Sword See you the ferny ride that steals
The Runes on Weland’s Sword Weland’s Sword
A Smith makes me To betray my Man In my First Fight
A Tree Song Weland’s Sword Of all the trees that grow so fair
Sir Richard’s Song Young Men at the Manoe I followed my Duke ere I was a lover
Harp Song of the Dane Women The Knights of the Joyous Venturee What is a woman that you forsake her
Thorkild’s Song The Knights of the Joyous Venture There’s no wind along these seas
Cities and Thrones and Powers A Centurion of the Thirtieth Cities and Thrones and Powers .
A British-Roman Song On the Great Wall My father’s father saw it not
Rimini On the Great Wall When I left Rome for Lalage’s sake .
A Song to Mithras The Winged Hats Mithras, God of the Morning, our trumpets waken the Wall!
A Pict Song The Winged Hats Rome never looks where she treads .
Prophets at Home Hal o’ the Draft. Prophets have honour all over the Earth
A Smugglers’ Song Hal o’ the Draft.. If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet
The Bee Boy’s Song Dymchurch Flit Bees! Bees! Hark to your bees!
Old Mother Laidinwool Dymchurch Flit Old Mother Laidinwool had nigh twelve months been dead ‘
A Three-Part Song Dymchurch Flit I’m just in love with all these three
Song of the Fifth River The Treasure and the Law When first by Eden Tree
The Children’s Song Puck of Pook’s Hill . Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee
LETTERS TO THE FAMILY (1907)
A Song of Travel The Road to Quebec Where’s the lamp that Hero lit .
The Prairie “The Fortunate Towns” I see the grass shake in the sun for leagues on either hand
Jubal and Tubal Cain A People at Home Jubal sang of the Wrath of God
The Stranger  Newspapers and Democracy The Stranger within my gate
A Servant when he Reigneth Labour Three things make earth unquiet
When the Great Ark Mountains and the Pacificy When the Great Ark, in Vigo Bay
ACTIONS AND REACTIONS (190-9)
Gallio’s Song Little Foxes All day long to the judgment-seat
The Four Angels With the Night Mail As Adam lay a-dreaming beneath the Apple Tree
The Recall An Habitation Enforced I am the land of their fathers
The Rabbi’s Song   The Housae Surgeon If Thought can reach to Heaven
The Puzzler   The Puzzler The Celt in all his variants from Builth to Ballyhoo
The Power of the Dog  Garm, a Hostage There is sorrow enough in the natural way
The New Knighthood   A Deal in Cotton Who gives him the Bath? .
The Bees and the Flies  The Mother Hive A farmer of the Augustan Age
REWARDS AND FAIRIES (1910)
A Charm Ccold Iron Take of English earth as much .
Cold Iron Ccold Iron Gold is for the mistress-silver for the maid’ .
The Queen’s Men Gloriana. Valour and Innocence .
The Looking-Glass.  Gloriana Queen Bess was Harry’s daughter. Stand forward partners all!
A Truthful Song   The Wrong Thing . I tell this tale, which is strictly true .
King Henry VII. and the Shipwrights   The Wrong Thing Harry, our King in England, from London town is gone.
The Way through the Woods Marklake Witches. They shut the road through the woods
Brookland Road Marklake Witches. I was very well pleased with what I knowed
The Run of the Downs The Knife and the Naked Chalk . The Weald is good, the Downs are best
Song of the Men’s Side The Knife and the Naked Chalk Once we feared The Beast-when he followed us we ran .
Philadelphia Brother Square-Toes If you’re off to Philadelphia in the morning
If— Brother Square-Toes If you can keep your head when all about you .
A St. Helena Lullaby A Priest in spite of Himself How far is St. Helena from a little child at play?’
Poor Honest Men A Priest in spite of Himself Your jar of Virginny .
Eddi’s Service The Conversion of St. Wilfrid . Eddi, priest of St. Wilfrid .
Song of the Red War-Boat  The Conversion of St. Wilfrid . Shove off from the wharf edge ! Steady !
An Astrologer’s Song A Doctor of Medicine. To the Heavens above us .
,Our Fathers of Old’ A Doctor of Medicine. . Excellent herbs had our fathers of old
The Thousandth Man Simple Simon . One man in a thousand, Solomon says
Frankie’s Trade Simple Simon . Old Horn to All Atlantic said
The Ballad of Minepit Shaw The Tree of Justice. About the time that taverns shut
A Carol The Tree of Justice.. . Our Lord Who did the Ox command
VARIOUS
A Dedication The Five Nations And they were stronger hands than mine .
The Jester The Honours of War There are three degrees of bliss
Cuckoo Song . Heathfield Parish Memoirs Tell it to the locked-up trees
 The Voortrekker Captains Courageous The gull shall whistle in his wake, the blind wave break in fire