by David Page)
| notes on the text
Unusually, a diary fragment survives of ‘notions to be worked out’: it shows the ballad was finished on 22 February  and published in the Week’s News a fortnight later.
The “Other Verses” of Departmental Ditties offer a representative sample of the different kinds of poetry Kipling was writing at the time. Browning’s influence was still strongly present . . .; while “The Ballad of Fisher’s Boarding-House”, and “The Grave of the Hundred Head”, an exceptionally nasty tale of a village massacre, pointed forward to the more successful, extended narrative poems that he would write after he had left India.
While lusty and colourful, this poem is interesting because its subject matter was close to Rudyard’s side-lined novel Mother Maturin.Filmography