Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling


This is the first scholarly edition to bring together the best short stories and poems of Rudyard Kipling. Covering the full range of Kipling's career from the 1880s to the 1930s it includes selections from Plain Tales from the Hills, Traffics and Discoveries, Just So Stories, Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses, and many more. A hugely inventive writer, Kipling displayed comic mastery as well as bleak insights into human behavior in his work.


Look, you have cast out Love! What Gods are these
You bid me please?
The Three in One, the One in Three? Not so!
To my own gods I go.
It may be they shall give me greater ease
Than your cold Christ and tangled Trinities.

The Convert

She was the daughter of Sonoo, a Hill-man of the Himalayas, and Jadéh his wife. One year their maize failed, and two bears spent the night in their only opium poppy-field just above the Sutlej Valley on the Kotgarh side;∘ so, next season, they turned Christian, and brought their baby to the Mission to be baptized. the Kotgarh Chaplain christened her Elizabeth, and 'Lispeth' is the Hill or pahari∘ pronunciation.

Later, cholera came into the Kotgarh Valley and carried off Sonoo and Jadéh, and Lispeth became half servant, half companion, to the wife of the then Chaplain of Kotgarh. This was after the reign of the Moravian missionaries in that place, but before Kotgarh had quite forgotten her title of 'Mistress of the Northern Hills'.

Whether Christianity improved Lispeth, or whether the gods of her own people would have done as much for her under any circumstances, I do not know; but she grew very lovely. When a Hill-girl grows lovely, she is worth travelling fifty miles over bad ground to look upon. Lispeth had a Greek face--one of those faces people paint so often, and see so seldom. She was of a pale, ivory colour, and, for her race, extremely tall. Also, she possessed eyes that were wonderful; and, had she not been dressed in the abominable print-cloths affected by Missions, you would, meeting her on the hillside unexpectedly, have thought her the original Diana of the Romans going out to slay.

Lispeth took to Christianity readily, and did not abandon it when she reached womanhood, as do some Hill-girls. Her own people hated . . .

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