“… I’ll Tell you no Lies”.

Hackensall hall sometime in 1960’s/70/s

Secrets, we all have them. Some are hidden so deep within us that we almost forget we know them, others we are desperate to share, nearly blurting them out to all and sundry, only stopping at the last minute.

Below is a poem I was introduced to as a child in a one room school house in an English village.

A Smugglers Song by Rudyard Kipling

if you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street;
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark —
Brandy for the Parson,
Baccy for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
And watch the wall, my darling,
While the Gentlemen go by!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find
Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine,
Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ’em for your play.
Put the brushwood back again — and they’ll be gone next day!

If you see the stable-door setting open wide;
If you see a tired horse lying down inside;
If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore;
If the lining’s wet and warm — don’t you ask no more!

If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red,
You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said.
If they call you “pretty maid,” and chuck you ‘neath the chin,
Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!

Knocks and footsteps round the house — whistles after dark —
You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark.
Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie —
They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!

If you do as you’ve been told, ‘likely there’s a chance,
You’ll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France,
With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood —
A present from the Gentlemen, along o’ being good!

Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark —
Brandy for the Parson,
‘Baccy for the Clerk;
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie —
Watch the wall, my darling,
While the Gentlemen go by!

Is it a good poem? I do not know, I remember the pictures, created by the words and thus i enjoy it.

But back to secrets. I guess we like to share, which is how some secrets get told, whispered in an ear, when no one is near, the listener sworn to secrecy, Sometimes they stay true but other times they forget. Other secrets are gleaned by spying which enables the eavesdropper to have a hold over the secretor. Yet others are found out by agents employed by governments or companies to spy on their counterparts.

In the present situation, the world wide Novel Coronavirus outbreak, I am sure spying is rife between countries trying to find an answer to this so far unstoppable disease. Countries are all working on a vaccine but i wonder if they are all sharing what they learn?

I strive to keep the secrets i know, some will become known of their own accord in the fullness of time (as the saying goes), others will go to the grave with me.






3 Responses to ““… I’ll Tell you no Lies”.”

  1. Bernadette Avatar

    Very deep and profound

    1. Bernadette Avatar

      Shouldn’t it be no lies though?

  2. patrica Habberjam Avatar
    patrica Habberjam

    I was thinking about it for ages, finally got it written!

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