The Vampire

(notes by John Radcliffe)

Publication history

First published in the catalogue of the tenth summer exhibition at the New Gallery, London in April 1897. It accompanied a painting by Kipling’s cousin Philip Burne-Jones. The verses were also published in the Daily Mail on April 17th, 1897, and in the New York Tribune on May 9th.

It was collected in:

  • Inclusive Verse (1919)
  • Definitive Verse (1940)
  • Sussex Edition vol. 35 p. 202
  • Burwash Edition vol. 28.


Philip was the son of Edward Burne-Jones, the distinguished pre-Raphaelite painter, and Kipling’s much loved ‘Uncle Ned’. The New Gallery had been the setting for a major Edward Burne-Jones retrospective in 1892–93.

Rudyard was clearly seeking to help his cousin with this contribution. But one also wonders if there is an echo here of Rudyard’s long unhappy passion for Flo Garrard, for whom he wrote many poems, and of his ultimate rejection.


©John Radcliffe 2020 All rights reserved

Glaser, Glaser and Solomon used the key phrase for a song, offered as a B side to a single by Nat ‘King’ Cole in 1964: