by Rudyard Kipling
The Song of Mowgli -- I, Mowgli, am singing. Let
the jungle listen to the things I have done.
Shere Khan said he would kill -- would kill! At the
gates in the twilight he would kill Mowgli, the
He ate and he drank. Drink deep, Shere Khan, for
when wilt thou drink again? Sleep and dream
of the kill.
I am alone on the grazing-grounds. Gray Brother,
come to me! Come to me, Lone Wolf, for there
is big game afoot.
Bring up the great bull-buffaloes, the blue-skinned
herd-bulls with the angry eyes. Drive them to
and fro as I order.
Sleepest thou still, Shere Khan? Wake, O wake!
Here come I, and the bulls are behind.
Rama, the King of the Buffaloes, stamped with his
foot. Waters of the Waingunga, whither went
He is not Ikki to dig holes, nor Mao, the Peacock, that
he should fly. He is not Mang, the Bat, to hang
in the branches. Little bamboos that creak to-
gether, tell me where he ran?
Ow! He is there. Ahoo! He is there. Under the
feet of Rama lies the Lame One! Up, Shere
Khan! Up and kill! Here is meat; break the
necks of the bulls!
Hsh! He is asleep. We will not wake him, for his
strength is very great. The kites have come down
to see it. The black ants have come up to know
it. There is a great assembly in his honour.
Alala! I have no cloth to wrap me. The kites will
see that I am naked. I am ashamed to meet all
Lend me thy coat, Shere Khan. Lend me thy gay
striped coat that I may go to the Council Rock.
By the Bull that bought me I have made a promise --
a little promise. Only thy coat is lacking before I
keep my word.
With the knife -- with the knife that men use -- with
the knife of the hunter, the man, I will stoop down
for my gift.
Waters of the Waingunga, bear witness that Shere
Khan gives me his coat for the love that he bears
me. Pull, Gray Brother! Pull, Akela! Heavy is
the hide of Shere Khan.
The Man Pack are angry. They throw stones and talk
child's talk. My mouth is bleeding. Let us run
Through the night, through the hot night, run swiftly
with me, my brothers. We will leave the lights
of the village and go to the low moon.
Waters of the Waingunga, the Man Pack have cast me
out. I did them no harm, but they were afraid of
Wolf Pack, ye have cast me out too. The jungle is
shut to me and the village gates are shut. Why?
As Mang flies between the beasts and the birds so fly
I between the village and the jungle. Why?
I dance on the hide of Shere Khan, but my heart is
very heavy. My mouth is cut and wounded with
the stones from the village, but my heart is very
light because I have come back to the jungle.
These two things fight together in me as the snakes
fight in the spring. The water comes out of my
eyes; yet I laugh while it falls. Why?
I am two Mowglis, but the hide of Shere Khan is under
All the jungle knows that I have killed Shere Khan.
Look -- look well, O Wolves!
Ahae! My heart is heavy with the things that I do
Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o'er the combers, looks downward to find us
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.
Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow;
Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.
Last updated May 02, 2015