Veil them, cover them

(notes by Philip Holberton)


This is the heading for “Letting in the Jungle” in The Second Jungle Book (1895). It is collected as a Chapter Heading in Songs from Books (1912) and later collections.

The poem

These lines echo “Mowgli’s Song against People” which follows the story. It is spoken by Mowgli, who wants all memory of the village and its people to be wiped out:

Let us forget the sight and the sound,
The smell and the touch of the breed!’

Notes on the text

[Verse 2]

white-foot   This is a poetic epithet meaning “young, fresh”, formed from an obscure bit of Old English by 19th century men of letters. See OED:  [D.H.]




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