Debits and Credits, by Rudyard Kipling

Gipsy Vans

UNLESS you come of the gipsy stock
 That steals by night and day.
Lock your heart with a double lock
 And throw the key away.
Bury it under the blackest stone
 Beneath your father’s hearth.
And keep your eyes on your lawful own
 And your feet to the proper path.
  Then you can stand at your door and mock
   When the gipsy-vans come through . . .
  For it isn’t right that the Gorgio stock
   Should live as the Romany do.
Unless you come of the gipsy blood
 That takes and never spares.
Bide content with your given good
 And follow your own affairs.
Plough and harrow and roll your land.
 And sow what ought to be sowed;
But never let loose your heart from your hand.
 Nor flitter it down the road
  Then you can thrive on your boughten food
   As the gipsy-vans come through . . .
  For it isn’t nature the Gorgio blood
   Should love as the Romany do.
Unless you carry the gipsy eyes
 That see but seldom weep.
Keep your head from the naked skies
 Or the stars’ll trouble your sleep.
Watch your moon through your window-pane
 And take what weather she brews;
But don’t run out in the midnight rain
 Nor home in the morning dews.
  Then you can huddle and shut your eves
   As the gipsy-vans come through . . .
  For it isn’t fitting the Gorgio ryes
   Should walk as the Romany do.
Unless you come of the gipsy race
 That counts all time the same.
Be you careful of Time and Place
 And Judgment and Good Name
Lose your life for to live your life
 The way that you ought to do;
And when you are finished, your God and your wife
 And the Gipsies ‘ll laugh at you!
  Then you can rot in your burying place
   As the gipsy-vans come through . . .
  For it isn’t reason the Gorgio race
   Should die as the Romany do,

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/kipling/rudyard/debits/chapter21.html

Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38