Sunday, July 30, 2006

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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!)
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 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 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.

-- Rudyard Kipling


Cheekies said...

Hmmm me thinks this has a deeper meaning that just a good poem on your blog. Have we been in contact with someone or just celebrating the anniversary of?

PaxRomano said...

Thank you for the lunch-time prose (I've escaped the lunch room here at the salt mine and am eating at my desk); a lovely piece that for some reason puts me in mind of Miss Theda Bara ... I know I've heard this before, somewhere, but I can't put my finger on'll drive me nuts until I think of it.

Cerpts said...

Gee, now who could that poem POSSIBLY be directed towards???

Oh yes, Pax, Theda Bara is a very appropriate person to think of. The Rudyard Kipling poem is called "The Vampire" and it was written especially for the painting pictured (also called "The Vampire" by Philip Burne-Jones). It's pretty much about the heartless, predatory female who sucks all the life out of the guy (If the picture was in color you'd see a red wound in the middle of the guy's chest over his heart).

Philip Burne-Jones was Kipling's cousin and the poet composed a poem for it for it's first exhibition. The painting caused a major stir because the woman pictured is an exact likeness of one of the most famous actresses of the day: Mrs. Patrick Campbell. It was rumoured Burne-Jones had an unrequited and/or spurned love affair with the actress and this was sort of his artistic revenge since everyone immediately recognized the actress. Myth has it that Mrs. Campbell fainted upon first seeing her likeness in the painting.

See how culturally rich my blog is, folks?

Sadly, the painting itself has disappeared and we only have old photos of it to go by.

Cerpts said...

Oh, and oops Cheekies, as to your question:

No, no contact but yes me and a certain shit-for-brains first met ten years ago this week.


or BULLSHIT?!?!?!?!?!!!!