English poetry

Poems in English

Chant-Pagan

Chant-Pagan

Me that ‘ave been what I’ve been
Me that ‘ave gone where I’ve gone
Me that ‘ave seen what I’ve seen
‘Ow can I ever take on
With awful old England again,
An’ ‘ouses both sides of the street,
And ‘edges two sides of the lane,
And the parson an’ gentry between,
An’ touchin’ my ‘at when we meet
Me that ‘ave been what I’ve been?

Me that ‘ave watched ‘arf a world
‘Eave up all shiny with dew,
Kopje on kop to the sun,
An’ as soon as the mist let ’em through
Our ‘elios winkin’ like fun
Three sides of a ninety-mile square,
Over valleys as big as a shire
“Are ye there? Are ye there? Are ye there?”
An’ then the blind drum of our fire. . .
An’ I’m rollin’ ‘is lawns for the Squire,
Me!

Me htat ‘ave rode through the dark
Forty mile, often, on end,
Along the Ma’ollisberg Range,
With only the stars for my mark
An’ only the night for my friend,
An’ things runnin’ off as you pass,
An’ things jumpin’ up in the grass,
An’ the silence, the shine an’ the size
Of the ‘igh, unexpressible skies
I am takin’ some letters almost
As much as a mile to the post,
An’ “mind you come back with the change!”
Me!

Me that saw Barberton took
When we dropped through the clouds on their ‘ead,
An’ they ‘ove the guns over and fled
Me that was through Di’mond I’ll,
An’ Pieters an’ Springs an’ Belfast
From Dundee to Vereeniging all
Me that stuck out to the last
(An’ five bloomin’ bars on my chest)
I am doin’ my Sunday-school best,
By the ‘elp of the Squire an’ ‘is wife
(Not to mention the ‘ousemaid an’ cook),
To come in an’ ‘ands up an’ be still,
An’ honestly work for my bread,
My livin’ in that state of life
To which it shall please God to call
Me!

Me that ‘ave followed my trade
In the place where the Lightnin’s are made;
“Twixt the Rains and the Sun and the Moon
Me that lay down an’ got up
Three years with the sky for my roof
That ‘ave ridden my ‘unger an’ thirst
Six thousand raw mile on the hoof,
With the Vaal and the Orange for cup,
An’ the Brandwater Basin for dish,
Oh! it’s ‘ard to be’ave as they wish
(Too ‘ard, an’ a little too soon),
I’ll ‘ave to think over it first
Me!

I will arise an’ get ‘ence
I will trek South and make sure
If it’s only my fancy or not
That the sunshine of England is pale,
And the breezes of England are stale,
An’ there’s something’ gone small with the lot.
For I know of a sun an’ a wind,
An’ some plains and a mountain be’ind,
An’ some graves by a barb-wire fence,
An’ a Dutchman I’ve fought ‘oo might give
Me a job where I ever inclined
To look in an’ offsaddle an’ live
Where there’s neither a road nor a tree
But only my Maker an’ me,
An I think it will kill me or cure,
So I think I will go there an’ see.



Poem Chant-Pagan - Rudyard Kipling