The Ladies

Rudyard Kipling

I've taken me fun where I found it;
I've roamed and I've ranged in my time;
I've 'ad me pick o' the sweethearts,
And four of the lot were prime.
One was an 'arf-caste widow,
One was a woman at Prome,
One was the wife of a jemadar-sais
An' one was a girl at home.

Now I aren't no 'and with the ladies,
For, takin' 'em all along,
You never can say 'til you've tried 'em,
An' then you are like to be wrong.
There's times when you'll think that you mightn't,
There's times when you know that you might;
But the things that you'll learn from the Yellow an' Brown,
They'll 'elp you a lot with the White!

I was a young 'un at 'Oogli,
Shy as a girl to begin;
But Aggie de Castro she made me,
For Aggie was clever as sin;
Older than me, but me first 'un--
More like a mother she were--
But she showed me the way to promotion an' pay,
An' I learned about women from 'er!

Then I was ordered to Burma,
Actin' in charge of Bazaar,
An' I got me a tidy live 'eathen
Through buyin' supplies from her pa.
Funny and yellow and faithful--
Doll in a teacup she were--
But we lived on the square, like a true married pair,
An' I learned about women from 'er!

Then we was shifted to Neemuch
(Or I might ha' been keepin' 'er now),
An' I took with a shiny she-devil,
The wife of a nigger at Mhow;
Taught me the Gypsy-folks bolee;
Kind o' volcano she were,
But she knifed me one night 'cause I wished she were white,
And I learned about women from 'er!

Then I came 'ome on a trooper,
'Long with a kid of sixteen--
Girl from the convent at Mirat,
The straightest I ever 'ave seen.
Love at first sight was 'er trouble,
She didn't know what it were,
But I couldn't do such, 'cause I liked 'er too much,
And I learned about women from 'er!

I've taken me fun where I found it,
An' now I must pay for me fun,
For the more you 'ave known of the many
The less you will settle to one;
An' the end of it's sittin' and' thinkin',
Dreamin' Hell's fires to see;
So, beware of me lot (which I know you will not),
An' learn about women from me!

What did the Colonel's Lady think;
Nobody never knew.
Somebody asked the Sergeant's wife,
An' she told 'em straight an' true!
When you get to the man in a case,
They're alike as a row of pins--
But the Colonel's Lady an' Judy O'Grady
Are sisters under their skins!

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