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The Dove of Dacca

The freed dove flew to the Rajah's tower--
 Fled from the slaughter of Moslem kings--
And the thorns have covered the city of Guar.
Dove--dove--oh, homing dove! Little white traitor, with woe on thy wings! The Rajah of Dacca rode under the wall; He set in his bosom a dove of flight-- "If she return, be sure that I fall.
" Dove--dove--oh, homing dove! Pressed to his heart in the thick of the fight.
" Fire the palace, the fort, and the keep-- Leave to the foeman no spoil at all.
In the flame of the palace lie down and sleep If the dove--if the dove -- if the homing dove Come and alone to the palace wall.
" The Kings of the North they were scattered abroad-- The Rajah of Dacca he slew them all.
Hot from slaughter he stooped at the ford, And the dove--the dove--oh, the homing dove! She thought of her cote on the palace-wall.
She opened her wings and she flew away-- Fluttered away beyond recall; She came to the palace at break of day.
Dove--dove--oh, homing dove, Flying so fast for a kingdom's fall! The Queens of Dacca they slept in flame Slept in the flame of the palace old-- To save their honour from Moslem shame.
And the dove--the dove--oh, the homing dove, She cooed to her young where the smoke-cloud rolled! The Rajah of Dacca rode far and fleet, Followed as fast as a horse could fly, He came and the palace was black at his feet; And the dove--the dove--the homing dove, Circled alone in the stainless sky.
So the dove flew to the Rajah's tower-- Fled from the slaughter of Moslem kings; So the thorns covered the city of Gaur, And Dacca was lost for a white dove's wings.
Dove--dove--oh, homing dove, Dacca is lost from the Roll of the Kings!

by Rudyard Kipling
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