Rudyard Kipling: To its ruin,–the hunting of man

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on

I am getting ready to reread an interesting short story that I will feature on the blog in a few days, but I read “Pig” by Rudyard Kipling today and it reminded me of that particular short story in a lot of ways (forests, hunting, and killing for sport). I won’t spoil the short story I plan to share or Kipling’s short story, but I will share the poem, which comes from the chapter heading of the same name in Tales from the Hills.

As for my feelings about the verse, I love when poems steer me in some direction with the title (maybe most of them do?) and then take me somewhere else darker and more mysterious.

“Pig” is short but no exception.

“Pig” by Rudyard Kipling

Go, stalk the red deer o’er the heather
Ride, follow the fox if you can!
But, for pleasure and profit together,
Allow me the hunting of Man,–
The chase of the Human, the search for the Soul
To its ruin,–the hunting of Man.