The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900

Rivals (Alice MacDonald Kipling)

To love's low voice She lent a careless ear, 
  Her hand within his rosy fingers lay, 
A chilling weight.  She would not turn nor hear, 
  But with averted face went on Her way;
His flow'ry wreaths beneath her heedless feet
She crushed, nor cared to breathe his offerings sweet.

But when pale Death, all featureless and grim, 
  Lifted his bony hand, and beckoning
Held out his cypress branch, She followed him, 
  And Love was left forlorn and wondering
When She, who for his wooing would not stay, 
At Death's first whisper rose and went away.

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