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Поэзия и песни
Киплинг Редьярд
My Rival

 I go to concert, party, ball--
 What profit is in these?
 I sit alone against the wall
 And strive to look at ease.
 The incense that is mine by right
 They burn before Her shrine;
 And that`s because I`m seventeen
 And she is forty-nine.
 
 I cannot check my girlish blush,
 My colour comes and goes;
 I redden to my finger-tips,
 And sometimes to my nose.
 But She is white where white should be
 And red where red should shine.
 The blush that flies at seventeen
 Is fixed at forty-nine.
 
 I wish I had Her constant cheek:
 I wish that I could sing
 All sorts of funny little songs,
 Not quite the proper thing.
 I`m very gauche and very shy,
 Her jokes aren`t in my line;
 And, worst of all, I`m seventeen,
 While She is forty-nine.
 
 The young men come, the young men go,
 Each pink and white and neat,
 She`s older than their mothers, but
 They grovel at Her feet.
 They walk beside Her `rickshaw-wheels--
 They never walk by mine;
 And that`s because I`m seventeen
 And She is forty-nine.
 
 She rides with half a dozen men
 (She calls them "boys" and "mashers")
 I trot along the Mall alone;
 My prettiest frocks and sashes
 Don`t help to fill my programme-card,
 And vainly I repine
 From ten to two A.M. Ah me!
 Would I were forty-nine.
 
 She calls me "darling," "pet," and "dear,"
 And "sweet retiring maid."
 I`m always at the back, I know,
 She puts me in the shade.
 She introduces me to men,
 "Cast" lovers, I opine,
 For sixty takes to seventeen,
 Nineteen to forty-nine.
 
 But even She must older grow
 And end Her dancing days,
 She can`t go on for ever so
 At concerts, balls, and plays.
 One ray of priceless hope I see
 Before my footsteps shine:
 Just think, that She`ll be eighty-one
 When I am forty-nine!
 

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