More Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

THE UNSAINTING OF KAVIN


 

SAINT KAVIN was a gentleman,
He came from Tipperary;
And woman was the only thing
That ever made him scary.

For Kavin was a tender youth,

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And he was very simple;
He feared the wiles of maiden smiles,
And fainted at a dimple.

But when Kathleen at seventeen
Came down the street one morning,

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The luck of man came over him
And took him without warning.

Afraid to meet a foolish fate
By green sea or by dry land,
He fled away without delay

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And sought a desert island.

But even there he felt despair;
For happiness is only
The hope of doing something else;
And he was very lonely.

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He vowed to lead a life of prayer
Because that he had lost her;
And every time he thought of her
He said a Pater noster.

Yet hard it is for man to change

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The less love for the greater;
And every time he reached Amen,
He must go back to Pater.

And so he grew a year or two
Disconsolate and holy,

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While friends he’d known long since had grown
Papas and roly-poly.

Until one day, one blessed day,
A-moping like a Hindoo,
He saw Kathleen in mournful mien

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A-passing by his window.

He threw away his rosary,
His Paters and his Aves;
For love is stronger than the wind
That wafts a thousand navies.

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The holy man went forth to war,
But not against the devil.
He led the maid within for shade,
And treated her most civil.

He gave her cakes, he gave her vine,

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He set his best before her;
And then invited her to dine—
Thenceforth—with her adorer.

Her little head went round for joy;
She tried to kick the rafter:

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So Kavin was a saint no more,
And happy ever after.