Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Pull of the Orient.

A few excerpts from Rudyard Kipling’s poem Mandalay, it being the longing of an old soldier to go back east:

Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?

Beefy face an' grubby 'and—
Law! wot do they understand?
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst

Why the fascination, which I understand but can’t explain? It makes me wonder which is cause and which effect.

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