(From Barrack-Room Ballads)
by Rudyard Kipling
GUNGA DIN -
You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen
Of all them black-faced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhistiGunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limping lump o' brick-dustGunga Din!
Hi! slippery hitherao!
Waterget it! Panee lao! *
You squigy-nosed old idolGunga Din!" -
The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl
We shouted "Harry By!" *(2)
Till our throats were bricky-dry
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathenwhere the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee *(3) in it
Or I'll marrow *(4) you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmetGunga Din!" -
'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut
You could bet your bloomin' nut
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick *(5) on 'is back
'E would skip with our attack
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire"
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was whiteclear whiteinside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out
You could hear the front-files shout
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!" -
I sha'n't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin'gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead
An' he plugged me where I bled
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk
But of all the drinks I've drunk
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the waterGunga Din! -
'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside
An' just before 'e died:
"I 'ope you liked your drink" sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone-
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drinks to pore damned souls
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
YesDin! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you
By the living Gawd that made you
You're a better man than I amGunga Din! -
* Bring water swiftly.
*(2) Mr. Atkins' equivalent for "O brother."
*(3) Be quick.
*(4) Hit you.
*(5) Water skins. - -