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    Gunga Din

    by Rudyard Kipling
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    • Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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    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 blackfaced crew
    The finest man I knew
    Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
    He was "Din! Din! Din!
    You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
    Hi! slippery ~hitherao~!
    Water, get it! ~Panee lao~! [Bring water swiftly.]
    You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga 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!" [Mr. Atkins's equivalent for "O brother."]
    Till our throats were bricky-dry,
    Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
    It was "Din! Din! Din!
    You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
    You put some ~juldee~ in it [Be quick.]
    Or I'll ~marrow~ you this minute [Hit you.]
    If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga 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~ on 'is back, [Water-skin.]
    'E would skip with our attack,
    An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
    An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
    'E was white, clear white, inside
    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 shan'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 water, Gunga 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' drink to poor damned souls,
    An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
    Yes, Din! Din! Din!
    You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
    Though I've belted you and flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    If you're writing a Gunga Din essay and need some advice, post your Rudyard Kipling essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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