Wednesday, May 11, 2011

“Vain And Careless”

[A poem for today by British poet Robert Graves.  “Vain And Careless” has long been favorite poem of mine, & one that touches me deeply.  Be sure to listen to Natalie Merchant’s beautiful setting in the video—it’s from her Leave Your Sleep album]

Vain And Careless

Lady, lovely lady,
  Careless and gay!
Once when a beggar called
  She gave her child away.

The beggar took the baby,
  Wrapped it in a shawl,
“Bring her back,” the lady said,
  “Next time you call.”

Hard by lived a vain man,
  So vain and so proud,
He walked on stilts
  To be seen by the crowd.

Up above the chimney pots,
  Tall as a mast,
And all the people ran about
  Shouting till he passed.

“A splendid match surely,”
  Neighbours saw it plain,
“Although she is so careless,
  Although he is so vain.”

But the lady played bobcherry,
  Did not see or care,
As the vain man went by her
  Aloft in the air.

This gentle-born couple
  Lived and died apart.
Water will not mix with oil,
  Nor vain with careless heart.

Robert Graves


  1. Merchant's Leave Your Sleep album is pure magic! Thanks for adding some magic to my day.

  2. Hi Roy: Agreed on Leave Your Sleep! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi Roy: Apparently my comment earlier was zapped as part of the Blogger outage--so thanks!


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