The Seven Seas/For to Admire

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The Seven Seas by Rudyard Kipling
For to Admire
Also published in Barrack-Room Ballads (Second Series, 1896).

FOR TO ADMIRE

The Injian Ocean sets an' smiles
 So sof', so bright, so bloomin' blue;
There aren't a wave for miles an' miles
 Excep' the jiggle from the screw.
The ship is swep', the day is done,
 The bugle's gone for smoke and play;
An' black ag'in' the settin' sun
 The Lascar sings, 'Hum deckty hai!'[1]


  For to admire an' for to see,
   For to be'old this world so wide—
  It never done no good to me,
   But I can't drop it if I tried!


I see the sergeants pitchin' quoits,
 I 'ear the women laugh an' talk,
I spy upon the quarter-deck
 The orficers an' lydies walk.
I thinks about the things that was,
 An' leans an' looks acrost the sea,
Till spite of all the crowded ship
 There's no one lef' alive but me.


The things that was which I 'ave seen,
 In barrick, camp, an' action too,
I tells them over by myself,
 An' sometimes wonders if they're true;
For they was odd—most awful odd—
 But all the same now they are o'er,
There must be 'eaps o' plenty such,
 An' if I wait I'll see some more.


Oh, I 'ave come upon the books,
 An' frequent broke a barrick rule,
An' stood beside an' watched myself
 Be'avin' like a bloomin' fool.
I paid my price for findin' out,
 Nor never grutched the price I paid,
But sat in Clink without my boots,
 Admirin' 'ow the world was made.


Be'old a crowd upon the beam,
 An' 'umped above the sea appears
Old Aden, like a barrick-stove
 That no one's lit for years an' years!
I passed by that when I began,
 An' I go 'ome the road I came,
A time-expired soldier-man
 With six years' service to 'is name.


My girl she said, 'Oh, stay with me!'
 My mother 'eld me to 'er breast.
They've never written none, an' so
 They must 'ave gone with all the rest—
With all the rest which I 'ave seen
 An' found an' known an' met along.
I cannot say the things I feel,
 And so I sing my evenin' song:


  For to admire an' for to see,
   For to be'old this world so wide—
  It never done no good to me,
   But I can't drop it if I tried!



Page 228 image from Kipling's The Seven Seas (1896).jpg

  1. 'I'm looking out.'