This poem was published in the Pioneer on 18 October 1888, and reprinted in the Pioneer Mail on 24 October, with the heading:
Respectfully dedicated to the Native Press, with apologies to 'The Curse of Doneraile'.It was unsigned and not later collected by Kipling, but is authenticated by inclusion in Scrapbook 4 of his own press cuttings in the Kipling Papers at the University of Sussex Special Collections.
It is to be found in Rutherford (p. 432) and Pinney (p. 1913).
On 9 October the Indian Mirror —the principal Indian (as opposed to Anglo-Indian) English-language newspaper—had published a denunciation of Lord Dufferin, claiming he had 'failed in every respect as a Viceroy'.The Poem
As Rutherford puts it, 'Kipling leaps to the defence of Dufferin by offering, ironically, a curse on the Viceroy so compendious as to render supererogatory any further attacks by the Native Press.' But the Viceroy himself did not escape his satirical pen. In his earlier poem "Personal Responsibilities" Kipling had blamed Dufferin for his troubles and failings, and used his name for the rhyme at the end of several verses.
"The Curse of Doneraile" is a 19th century poem by the bard Cormac O'Kelly. He had his watch stolen while visiting Doneraile in County Cork,, whereupon he wrote a poem cursing every aspect of the town and its inhabitants:
May fire and brimstone never fail[The Poem]
Iswasti for that reason.
shin shin up, climb.
Who killed our kine? A controversy over "Cow-Killing" by Muslims and Europeans had been raised by Hindus to whom the animal is sacred.
who taxed our tin?The introduction of Income Tax, 'tin' being slang for 'cash'.
Who butchered Burma? A reference to the 2nd Burma War of 1885 and the subsequent years of struggle against dacoits. See "The Taking of Lungtungpen" (Plain Tales from the Hills) and the poems "A Nightmare of Names", "The Ballad of Boh Da Thone", and "The Grave of the Hundred Head".
Collinga, Bow Bazaar areas of Calcutta.
crore ten million.
Ganesh in Hindu mythlogy, an elephant-headed god.
Kali the wife of Siva in the Hindu pantheon.
Hume Allan Hume (1829-1912), one of the founders of the Indian National Congress.
Budrudin Tyabji Muslim activist and important member of the Congress.
Boileaugunge the western area of Simla.
Knockdhrin a well-known residence on Simla Mall.
Naaman In the Old Testament, a Syrian general, miraculously cured from leprosy by Elisha, 2 Kings, 5. 1-14.
His wife In 1885 Lady Dufferin launched a fund for supplying female medical advice and instruction to the women of India. See "For the Women". Male doctors could not enter the seclusion of purdah, the 'cloked zenanas' of the next line of the poem, the women's quarters.
Six Sixty-six The Number of the Beast: see Revelation13.18 in the New Testament: 'his number is Six hundred threescore and six.'
Man of Sin See Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians in the New Testament 2.3:
Let no man deceive you by any means except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.Das that (German).
wuh that one (Hindi).
Albions, Harrilds printing machines.
pye, dis, dele printing house terms.
Pye break up (e.g. a forme of type)
dis distribute (e.g. individual pieces of type).
ęPhilip Holberton 2020 All rights reserved