Mandalay "The Dawn Comes Up Like Thunder"
by Rudyard Kipling

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"The Dawn Comes Up Like Thunder"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Mandalay is one of the chief cities of Burma, and in the poem by the same name Kipling compares London to the Burmese city with the latter distinctively favored over the former. Kipling is critical of the social conventions of England, and he laments the natural freedom of Mandalay. The call comes to all those who have been in Mandalay to return to the easy life among the Burmese. Kipling sees Mandalay also as a mystical land of beauty and release, a place where one can forget all the restrictions of the every-day routine of Western society.

Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin'
from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin' fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder
outer China 'crost the Bay!