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A Beleagured City
Posted by: Marian 2 (
Date: November 30, 2001 05:30AM

Have just spent a couple of days mining a thick tome of Kipling's early verse for gems and found the following. Thought I'd celebrate by posting it.

(The paper Kipling wrote for in India printed an article in January 1884 denouncing the proximity of the 1st Punjab Volunteers’ Rifle Range to Lawrence Hall Gardens, a public park – Kipling produced this parody of The Walrus and the Carpenter in response. NB PRVs = Punjab Volunteer Rifles)

The Stranger and the Resident
Were strolling down the Mall;
The former jumped at times to see
The merry bullets fall,
‘If this goes on for long,’ he said,
‘Expect a funeral.’

‘If twenty men with twenty guns,
Blaze at the Bull, his eye,
Do you suppose they hit it once? –
Do you suppose they try?’
‘I doubt it,’ said the Resident,
They fire rather high.’

‘Oh seek the culvert’s shade, my friend,’
The Stranger then besought,
‘For death may be the pleasant end
Of this peculiar sport’ –
The Resident said nothing but: -
‘They really didn’t ought.’

‘A coat of mail,’ the Stranger said,
‘Is what we chiefly need,
A half inch steel revetment plate
Would be a boon indeed,
I trust I’m not obtrusive, but
My head begins to bleed.’

Then other bullets whistled up,
By ones and twos and threes –
Came frisking through the aloe hedge,
Or hurried through the trees,
Which wasn’t odd because, you know,
We know the PRVs.

‘Oh Stranger,’ said the Resident,
There goes the mid-day gun,
Shall we be trotting home again,
The squad have almost done?
You mustn’t mind their play because’ –
But answer came there none,
Which wasn’t odd, considering
The risks that man had run.

(Unfortunately the copying doesn't reproduce the italics - 'really' on last line of verse three and 'We' on last line of verse 4 - if anyone is interested.)

Re: A Beleagured City
Posted by: Desi (
Date: November 30, 2001 06:12AM

you can make italics yourself by using HTML codes. Only it is difficult to explain because the codes themselves are not shown in the text. Okay, let's try. Every code begins with a tag and ends with a tag and they are between a < and a > (just in case it dissappears: a 'smaller than' sign and a 'larger than' sign.) The name for italics is very simply "i". So before the word you want to have in italics you put a "i" between the smaller than and larger than sign. After the word you do the same but before the "i" you insert a / (a slash). If this isn't clear go to "view" and click on "page source" and scroll down to this text and see what's here.

Posted by: E.J.Lewis (203.162.140.---)
Date: December 01, 2001 01:16AM

As a boy (1938), we used to recite:
"The boy stood on the burning deck
Eating peanuts by the peck."
Anyone recognize this ? Perhaps a schoolboy
parody of some classical poetry we may have
been studying ? Thnx.

Re: A Beleagured City
Posted by: Marian 2 (
Date: December 01, 2001 01:28PM

Thanks Desi - I tried it and it works beautifully.I was puzzled by the fact that the italics already in the source I copied didn't move across, but am told it's because the internet speaks a different language so ignores them! I'm very grateful for your help - learning computing through poetry is a much pleasanter way than classes.

Re: A Beleagured City
Posted by: Marian on the Move (
Date: December 03, 2001 07:40PM

(This is the OTHER Marian replying.)

Marian 2--

The Kipling-does-Carroll piece is fabulous: THANK YOU!!!!

The original is pretty morbid, too, though most people remember "cabbages and kings" and forget about the wretched fate of the poor oysterlings.

Re: A Beleagured City
Posted by: Desi (
Date: December 04, 2001 09:18AM

"the internet speaks a different language"

The word wide web can be read by everyone because everyone uses the same language. Originally this was SGML, but like every other language it develloped: into HTML (now most people use HTML 4.1).
If you want to see what this language looks like go to view and click on "page source".

I love computers. So if you have any question at all feel free to email me. If I can't answer it myself I know people who can. And you're right. The only way you can learn computing (nice word; actually means counting) is by doing it. I never had any computer classes. Eh well I had in my first university year, but that was given by a history teacher who knew nothing about computers, so I ended up explaining HIM things. I didn't have to finish that course ;-)

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