"When 'Omer smote' is bloomin' lyre"

(Introduction to the Barrack-Room Ballads in "The Seven Seas")

Original Text: 
Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1940): 351.
2   He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
3An' what he thought 'e might require,
4   'E went an' took--the same as me!
5The market-girls an' fishermen,
6   The shepherds an' the sailors, too,
7They 'eard old songs turn up again,
8   But kep' it quiet--same as you!
9They knew 'e stole; 'e knew they knowed.
10   They didn't tell, nor make a fuss,
11But winked at 'Omer down the road,
12   An' 'e winked back--the same as us!


1] 'Omer: Homer, ancient Greek poet of epics such as the Odyssey. The cockney speaker regularly elides initial h and final g. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: