The Vampire

by

Rudyard Kipling


A fool there was and he made his prayer

(Even as you and I!)

To a rag and a bone and a hunk of hair

(We called her the woman who did not care)

But the fool he called her his lady fair

(Even as you and I!)


Oh, the years we waste and the tears we waste

And the work of our head and hand

Belong to a woman who did not know

(And now we know that she never could know)

And did not understand!


A fool there was and his goods he spent

(Even as you and I!)

Honour and faith and a sure intent

(And it wasn't the least what the lady meant)

But a fool must follow his natural bent

(Even as you and I!)


Oh the toil we lost and the spoil we lost

And the excellent things we planned

Belong to the woman who didn't know why

(And now we know that she never knew why)

And did not understand!


The fool was stripped to his foolish hide

(Even as you and I!)

Which she might have seen as she threw him aside

(But it isn't on record the lady tried)

So some of him lived but the most of him died

(Even as you and I!)


And it isn't the shame and it isn't the blame

That stings like a white hot brand

It's coming to know that she never knew why

(Seeing, at last, she could never know why)

And never could understand!



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