The Vampire

Original Text: 
Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1940): 220-21.
1A fool there was and he made his prayer.
2(Even as you and I!)
3To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair
4(We called her the woman who did not care)
5But the fool he called her his lady fair--
6(Even as you and I!)
7Oh, the years we waste and the tears we waste
8And the work of our head and hand
9Belong to the woman who did not know
10(And now we know that she never could know)
11And did not understand!
12A fool there was and his goods he spent
13(Even as you and I!)
14Honour and faith and a sure intent
15(And it wasn't the least what the lady meant)
16But a fool must follow his natural bent
17(Even as you and I!)
18Oh, the toil we lost and the spoil we lost
19And the excellent things we planned
20Belong to the woman who didn't know why
21(And now we know that she never knew why)
22And did not understand!
23The fool was stripped to his foolish hide
24(Even as you and I!)
25Which she might have seen when she threw him aside--
26(But it isn't on record the lady tried)
27So some of him lived but the most of him died--
28(Even as you and I!)
29And it isn't the shame and it isn't the blame
30That stings like a white-hot brand--
31It's coming to know that she never knew why
32(Seeing, at last, she could never know why)
33And never could understand!
Publication Start Year: 
1897
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2007
Rhyme: