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Mandalay. Rudyard Kipling

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin′ eastward to the sea,
There′s a Burma girl a-settin′, and I know she thinks o′ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can′t you ′ear their paddles chunkin′ from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin′-fishes play,
An′ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ′crost the Bay!

′Er petticoat was yaller an′ ′er little cap was green,
An′ ′er name was Supi-yaw-lat, jes′ the same as Theebaw′s Queen,
An′ I seed her first a-smokin′ of a whackin′ white cheroot,
An′ a-wastin′ Christian kisses on an ′eathen idol′s foot:
Bloomin′ idol made o′mud,
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd,
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ′er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

When the mist was on the rice-fields an′ the sun was droppin′ slow,
She′d git ′er little banjo an′ she′d sing "Kulla-lo-lo!"
With ′er arm upon my shoulder an′ ′er cheek agin′ my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an′ the hathis pilin′ teak.
Elephints a-pilin′ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ′ung that ′eavy you was ′arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

But that′s all shove be′ind me, long ago an′ fur away,
An′ there ain′t no ′busses runnin′ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An′ I′m learnin′ ′ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
"If you′ve ′eard the East a-callin′, you won′t never ′eed naught else."
No! you won′t ′eed nothin′ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An′ the sunshine an′ the palm-trees an′ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay . . .

I am sick o′ wastin′ leather on these gritty pavin′-stones,
An′ the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho′ I walks with fifty ′ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An′ they talks a lot o′ lovin′, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an′ grubby ′and,
Law! wot do they understand?
I′ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren′t no Ten Commandments an′ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin′, an′ it′s there that I would be,
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin′-fishes play,
An′ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ′crost the Bay!

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