The Vampire

Rudyard Kipling 1865 (Mumbai) – 1936 (London)



A fool there was and he made his prayer
  (Even as you and I!)
To a rag and a bone and a hank 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 the 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!)
Honor and faith and a sure intent
But a fool must follow his natural bent
(And it wasn't the least what the lady meant),
  (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 she never knew why)
  And did not understand.

The fool we stripped to his foolish hide
  (Even as you and I!)
Which she might have seen when 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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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 24, 2023

1:20 min read
435

Quick analysis:

Scheme aBaaaB xcddC eBeeeB xcbbC fBfffB xcbbc
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,195
Words 261
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 6, 5, 6, 5, 6, 5

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India and his tales for children. more…

All Rudyard Kipling poems | Rudyard Kipling Books

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