I have a thousand men

The Light that Failed

(notes by Geoffrey Annis)


This is the heading to chapter V (p. 61) of The Light that Failed
Tyne … Till These are rivers in the Anglo-Scottish Border country. The Tyne runs to the sea near the southern boundary of Northumberland. The Till is a tributary of the Tweed which runs into the sea near the Border itself. The key line is the final one, in which Kipling draws attention to the fact that Dick is in thrall to Maisie, despite his own powers.

Kipling attributes these lines, and those on p. 76 that head Chapter VI, to a ballad called Sir Hoggie and the Fairies; we have not traced this, and conclude that like many quotations in his chapter headings it was coined by Kipling himself.


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