Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)
Rajah of Kolazai,
Drinketh the "simpkin" and brandy peg,
Maketh the money to fly,
Vexeth a Government, tender and kind,
Also -- but this is a detail -- blind.
Rustum Beg of Kolazai -- slightly backward Native State --
Lusted for a C.S.I. -- so began to sanitate.
Built a Gaol and Hospital -- nearly built a City drain --
Till his faithful subjects all thought their ruler was insane.
Strange departures made he then -- yea, Departments stranger still:
Half a dozen Englishmen helped the Rajah with a will,
Talked of noble aims and high, hinted of a future fine
For the State of Kolazai, on a strictly Western line.
Fajah Rustum held his peace; lowered octroi dues a half;
Organised a State Police; purified the Civil Staff;
Settled cess and tax aftresh in a very liberal way;
Cut temptations of the flesh -- also cut the Bukhshi's pay;
Roused his Secretariat to a fine Mahratta fury,
By an Order hinting at supervision of dasturi;
Turned the State of Kolazai very nearly upside-down;
When the end of May was night waited his achievement's crown.
Then the Birthday Honours came. Sad to state and sad to see,
Stood against the Rajah's name nothing more than C.I.E.!. . .
Things were lively for a week in the State of Kolazai,
Even now the people speak of that time regretfully.
How he disendowed the Gaol -- stopped at once the City drain;
Turned to beauty fair and frail -- got his senses back again;
Doubled taxes, cesses, all; cleared away each new-built thana;
Turned the two-lakh Hospital into a superb Zenana;
Heaped upon the Bukshi Sahib wealth and honours manifold;
Glad himself in Eastern garb -- squeezed his people as of old.
Happy, happy Kolazai! Never more will Rustum Beg
Play to catch his Viceroy's eye. He prefers the "simpkin" peg.
Find a translation for this poem in other languages:
Select another language:
- - Select -
- 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
- 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
- Español (Spanish)
- Esperanto (Esperanto)
- 日本語 (Japanese)
- Português (Portuguese)
- Deutsch (German)
- العربية (Arabic)
- Français (French)
- Русский (Russian)
- ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
- 한국어 (Korean)
- עברית (Hebrew)
- Gaeilge (Irish)
- Українська (Ukrainian)
- اردو (Urdu)
- Magyar (Hungarian)
- मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Italiano (Italian)
- தமிழ் (Tamil)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- తెలుగు (Telugu)
- ภาษาไทย (Thai)
- Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
- Čeština (Czech)
- Polski (Polish)
- Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Românește (Romanian)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Ελληνικά (Greek)
- Latinum (Latin)
- Svenska (Swedish)
- Dansk (Danish)
- Suomi (Finnish)
- فارسی (Persian)
- ייִדיש (Yiddish)
- հայերեն (Armenian)
- Norsk (Norwegian)
- English (English)
Discuss this Rudyard Kipling poem with the community:
Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:
"The Legend of the Foreign Office" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 8 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/33482/the-legend-of-the-foreign-office>.