Poem Rudyard Kipling

The Story of Uriah

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“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 Barrett 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,
And the last grim joke is entered
   In the big 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.

The Post that Fitted
A Legend of the Foreign Office


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