Published as a heading to By Word of Mouth in Plain Tales from the Hills (1888). Collected in Definitive Verse and subsequent collections, as a Chapter Heading.
T.S.Eliot includes this poem in his A Choice of Kipling’s Verse. It has a slight echo of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, and leaves one wishing for more:
Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye
That thou consum’st thyself in single life ?
Ah ! If thou issueless should hap to die,
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife.
©John McGivering 2020 All rights reserved