Then we brought
the lances

(notes edited by Geoffrey Annis)


This verse is the heading of Chapter II of “The Light that Failed”. It is one of a number of headings by Kipling which he credits as a ‘Barrack-Room Ballad’, although it does not figure in his own Barrack-Room Ballads.

These lines refer to Lord Roberts’ march to Kandahar in August 1880, and the subsequent victory there. The tone is one of appropriate heroism and bravery in battle, and the repetition of ‘two’ indirectly highlights the new camaraderie between Dick and Torpenhow.


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