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Night-Song in the Jungle -- Rudyard Kipling

usurping Martin's place as purveyor of all things Kiplingesque...
(Poem #166) Night-Song in the Jungle
Now Chil the Kite brings home the night
    That Mang the Bat sets free.
The herds are shut in byre and hut -
    For loosed till dawn are we.
This is the hour of pride and power,
    Talon and tush and claw.
O hear the call! Good Hunting, All
    That keep the Jungle Law!
-- Rudyard Kipling
Kipling's Jungle Books are (to use a well-worn cliche) beloved of young
and old alike, and it's not hard to see -- they're _good_. They're full
of action, romance and imagination, lush with detail, charged with
excitement, but above all, they're beautifully (and I mean really
beautifully) written [1]. From the jungles of the Waingunga to the ice
floes of the Arctic, from Rikki-Tikki-Tavi to Akela the Lone Wolf -
Kipling captures a thousand different moods, creatures and places in the
most wonderful prose.

Having said that, IMO one of the _nicest_ things about the Jungle Book
is the way each chapter (story) starts and ends with some verse. And
today's example is one of my favourites. The versification is utterly
perfect, but more than that, I love the way the poem seems to embody the
'feel' of the Jungle at night, when the wolf pack is about to hunt. It
sends shivers down my spine.


[1] And if you thought the Jungle Book was good, then what can you say
about Kim and Puck of Pook's Hill? Words are not enough.

16 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Ray said...

I fell in love with the Jungle Books the first time i read it. I have been rereading it, and loving it again and again. The poems are amazing -- they transform into jungle chants as you read it. it's just so wonderful.

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