Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

The Story of Ung; 1896 September 11, 2007

Filed under: Books,Embroidery,Rudyard Kipling,Words — Janet @ 12:24 pm

  “No store of well-drilled needles, nor ouches of amber pale;
   No new-cut tongues of the bison, nor meat of the stranded whale.”
   Rudyard Kipling; The Story of Ung; 1896.

Is anyone familiar with this poem  by Rudyard Kipling and the quotation above?  I read the quote in today’s edition of Wordsmith. 

I was intrigued by the word “ouch” used as a noun.  According to Wordsmith and his sources, ouch or ouche  means “a brooch or buckle set with precious stones”.  This month’s workshop with the Online Guild is about embroidery and Indian elephants with some references to Kipling’s animals so there has been a lot of discussion about what fibres and materials and decorations to use for the embroidery images.   Hence I thought this word would be a good one to add to the discussion.   Now I have read the whole poem and I think the embroiderers’ heads would be reeling with more wonderful images.