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The Story of Uriah

Rudyard Kipling


"Now there were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor."

Jack Barrett went to Quetta because they told him to.

He left his wife at Simla on three-fourths his monthly screw;

Jack Barrett died at Quetta ere the next month's pay he drew.

Jack Barrett went to Quetta. He didn't understand

The reason of his transfer from the pleasant mountain land:

The season was September, and it killed him out of hand.

Jack Barret went to Quetta, and there gave up the ghost,

Attempting two men's duty in that very healthy post;

And Mrs. Barrett mourned for him five lively months at most.

Jack Barrett's bones at Quetta enjoy profound repose;

But I shouldn't be astonished if now his spirit knows

The reason of his transfer from the Himalayan snows.

And when the Last Great Bugle Call adown the Hurnai throbs,

When the last grim joke is entered in the black Book of Jobs,

And Quetta graveyards give again their victims to the air,

I shouldn't like to be the man who sent Jack Barrett there.


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