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DEVIL MAY CARE
by
Charles H. Taylor & Cuthbert Clarke (1905)

Fly, if you see me in the street
Leave me to drift - to drift.
Turning aside if by chance we meet,
Pray that the end come swift.
Once I was spick and span like you,
Had money and all to spare:
Do you remember me? Yes you do!
Dear old Devil-may-Care.
Devil-may-Care who paid your debts
When you'd gone the pace too fast;
Devil-may-Care whom the world forgets,
But Devil-may-Care to the last.
Some of you tell today with pride,
Aye! brag of it here and there.
How you scattered the Pathans side by side
With Dashing Devil-may-Care.
You were plucky enough in days gone by
But you haven't the saving grace,
To look at me boldly in the eye
When you meet me face to face.
Not that I want it, Heaven knows;
Shabby with wear and tear,
Little remains now I suppose,
Of what once was Devil-may-Care.
How do I live? Well - never mind,
That's a secret I can keep;
I manage a sort of meal to find
And a place where I crawl to sleep.
To sleep, and see in a fitful dream
The wraith of a face once fair,
And a woman's eyes, whose tender gleam
Once dazzled old Devil-may-Care.
To wake, and wonder what might have been
Had the game been fairly played;
To wearily fumble the tangled skein
That a woman's fingers made.
We waltzed together the night we met -
'Twas an Indian summer night
And I gazed my fill in her eyes deep set
And her soul seemed pure and white.
Every one told me she was false,
And by Heaven! I proved it well;
And I danced the Devil's eternal waltz
That spins on the brink of Hell;
Till I reeled from the verge with a heart that broke,
And with pockets with nothing in.
And the world took the first for a lively joke,
But the last was a deadly sin.
What does it matter? It soon will end
With the sentinel's `Who goes there?'
And to Death I shall cheerfully cry - `A friend!'
And he'll say, `Pass, Devil-may-Care.'
 
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