Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Ballads by William Makepeace Thackeray

Part 2 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

"I've help'd him to pen many a line for bread;
To joke with sorrow aching in his head;
And make your laughter when his own heart bled.

"I've spoke with men of all degree and sort--
Peers of the land, and ladies of the Court;
Oh, but I've chronicled a deal of sport!

"Feasts that were ate a thousand days ago,
Biddings to wine that long hath ceased to flow,
Gay meetings with good fellows long laid low;

"Summons to bridal, banquet, burial, ball,
Tradesman's polite reminders of his small
Account due Christmas last--I've answered all.

"Poor Diddler's tenth petition for a half-
Guinea; Miss Bunyan's for an autograph;
So I refuse, accept, lament, or laugh,

"Condole, congratulate, invite, praise, scoff.
Day after day still dipping in my trough,
And scribbling pages after pages off.

"Day after day the labor's to be done,
And sure as comes the postman and the sun,
The indefatigable ink must run.

. . . . .

"Go back, my pretty little gilded tome,
To a fair mistress and a pleasant home,
Where soft hearts greet us whensoe'er we come!

"Dear, friendly eyes, with constant kindness lit,
However rude my verse, or poor my wit,
Or sad or gay my mood, you welcome it.

"Kind lady! till my last of lines is penn'd,
My master's love, grief, laughter, at an end,
Whene'er I write your name, may I write friend!

"Not all are so that were so in past years;
Voices, familiar once, no more he hears;
Names, often writ, are blotted out in tears.

"So be it:--joys will end and tears will dry--
Album! my master bids me wish good-by,
He'll send you to your mistress presently.

"And thus with thankful heart he closes you;
Blessing the happy hour when a friend he knew
So gentle, and so generous, and so true.

"Nor pass the words as idle phrases by;
Stranger! I never writ a flattery,
Nor sign'd the page that register'd a lie."



"Coming from a gloomy court,
Place of Israelite resort,
This old lamp I've brought with me.
Madam, on its panes you'll see
The initials K and E."

"An old lantern brought to me?
Ugly, dingy, battered, black!"
(Here a lady I suppose
Turning up a pretty nose)--
"Pray, sir, take the old thing back.
I've no taste for bricabrac."

"Please to mark the letters twain"--
(I'm supposed to speak again)--
"Graven on the lantern pane.
Can you tell me who was she,
Mistress of the flowery wreath,
And the anagram beneath--
The mysterious K E?

"Full a hundred years are gone
Since the little beacon shone
From a Venice balcony:
There, on summer nights, it hung,
And her Lovers came and sung
To their beautiful K E.

"Hush! in the canal below
Don't you hear the plash of oars
Underneath the lantern's glow,
And a thrilling voice begins
To the sound of mandolins?
Begins singing of amore
And delire and dolore--
O the ravishing tenore!

"Lady, do you know the tune?
Ah, we all of us have hummed it!
I've an old guitar has thrummed it,
Under many a changing moon.
Shall I try it? Do Re MI . .
What is this? Ma foi, the fact is,
That my hand is out of practice,
And my poor old fiddle cracked is,
And a man--I let the truth out,--
Who's had almost every tooth out,
Cannot sing as once he sung,
When he was young as you are young,
When he was young and lutes were strung,
And love-lamps in the casement hung."


Seventeen rosebuds in a ring,
Thick with sister flowers beset,
In a fragrant coronet,
Lucy's servants this day bring.
Be it the birthday wreath she wears
Fresh and fair, and symbolling
The young number of her years,
The sweet blushes of her spring.

Types of youth and love and hope!
Friendly hearts your mistress greet,
Be you ever fair and sweet,
And grow lovelier as you ope!
Gentle nursling, fenced about
With fond care, and guarded so,
Scarce you've heard of storms without,
Frosts that bite or winds that blow!

Kindly has your life begun,
And we pray that heaven may send
To our floweret a warm sun,
A calm summer, a sweet end.
And where'er shall be her home,
May she decorate the place;
Still expanding into bloom,
And developing in grace.


In tattered old slippers that toast at the bars,
And a ragged old jacket perfumed with cigars,
Away from the world and its toils and its cares,
I've a snug little kingdom up four pair of stairs.

To mount to this realm is a toil, to be sure,
But the fire there is bright and the air rather pure;
And the view I behold on a sunshiny day
Is grand through the chimney-pots over the way.

This snug little chamber is cramm'd in all nooks
With worthless old knick-knacks and silly old books,
And foolish old odds and foolish old ends,
Crack'd bargains from brokers, cheap keepsakes from friends.

Old armor, prints, pictures, pipes, china, (all crack'd,)
Old rickety tables, and chairs broken-backed;
A twopenny treasury, wondrous to see;
What matter? 'tis pleasant to you, friend, and me.

No better divan need the Sultan require,
Than the creaking old sofa that basks by the fire;
And 'tis wonderful, surely, what music you get
From the rickety, ramshackle, wheezy spinet.

That praying-rug came from a Turcoman's camp;
By Tiber once twinkled that brazen old lamp;
A mameluke fierce yonder dagger has drawn:
'Tis a murderous knife to toast muffins upon.

Long, long through the hours, and the night, and the chimes,
Here we talk of old books, and old friends, and old times;
As we sit in a fog made of rich Latakie
This chamber is pleasant to you, friend, and me.

But of all the cheap treasures that garnish my nest,
There's one that I love and I cherish the best:
For the finest of couches that's padded with hair
I never would change thee, my cane-bottom'd chair.

'Tis a bandy-legg'd, high-shoulder'd, worm-eaten seat,
With a creaking old back, and twisted old feet;
But since the fair morning when Fanny sat there,
I bless thee and love thee, old cane-bottom'd chair.

If chairs have but feeling, in holding such charms,
A thrill must have pass'd through your wither'd old arms!
I look'd, and I long'd, and I wish'd in despair;
I wish'd myself turn'd to a cane-bottom'd chair.

It was but a moment she sat in this place,
She'd a scarf on her neck, and a smile on her face!
A smile on her face, and a rose in her hair,
And she sat there, and bloom'd in my cane-bottom'd chair.

And so I have valued my chair ever since,
Like the shrine of a saint, or the throne of a prince;
Saint Fanny, my patroness sweet I declare,
The queen of my heart and my cane-bottom'd chair.

When the candles burn low, and the company's gone,
In the silence of night as I sit here alone--
I sit here alone, but we yet are a pair--
My Fanny I see in my cane-bottom'd chair.

She comes from the past and revisits my room;
She looks as she then did, all beauty and bloom;
So smiling and tender, so fresh and so fair,
And yonder she sits in my cane-bottom'd chair.



As on this pictured page I look,
This pretty tale of line and hook
As though it were a novel-book
Amuses and engages:
I know them both, the boy and girl;
She is the daughter of the Earl,
The lad (that has his hair in curl)
My lord the County's page as.

A pleasant place for such a pair!
The fields lie basking in the glare;
No breath of wind the heavy air
Of lazy summer quickens.
Hard by you see the castle tall;
The village nestles round the wall,
As round about the hen its small
Young progeny of chickens.

It is too hot to pace the keep;
To climb the turret is too steep;
My lord the earl is dozing deep,
His noonday dinner over:
The postern-warder is asleep
(Perhaps they've bribed him not to peep):
And so from out the gate they creep,
And cross the fields of clover.

Their lines into the brook they launch;
He lays his cloak upon a branch,
To guarantee his Lady Blanche
's delicate complexion:
He takes his rapier, from his haunch,
That beardless doughty champion staunch;
He'd drill it through the rival's paunch
That question'd his affection!

O heedless pair of sportsmen slack!
You never mark, though trout or jack,
Or little foolish stickleback,
Your baited snares may capture.
What care has SHE for line and hook?
She turns her back upon the brook,
Upon her lover's eyes to look
In sentimental rapture.

O loving pair! as thus I gaze
Upon the girl who smiles always,
The little hand that ever plays
Upon the lover's shoulder;
In looking at your pretty shapes,
A sort of envious wish escapes
(Such as the Fox had for the Grapes)
The Poet your beholder.

To be brave, handsome, twenty-two;
With nothing else on earth to do,
But all day long to bill and coo:
It were a pleasant calling.
And had I such a partner sweet;
A tender heart for mine to beat,
A gentle hand my clasp to meet;--
I'd let the world flow at my feet,
And never heed its brawling.


The rose upon my balcony the morning air perfuming,
Was leafless all the winter time and pining for the spring;
You ask me why her breath is sweet, and why her cheek is blooming,
It is because the sun is out and birds begin to sing.

The nightingale, whose melody is through the greenwood ringing,
Was silent when the boughs were bare and winds were blowing keen:
And if, Mamma, you ask of me the reason of his singing,
It is because the sun is out and all the leaves are green.

Thus each performs his part, Mamma; the birds have found their voices,
The blowing rose a flush, Mamma, her bonny cheek to dye;
And there's sunshine in my heart, Mamma, which wakens and rejoices,
And so I sing and blush, Mamma, and that's the reason why.


"Quand vous serez bien vielle, le soir à la chandelle
Assise auprès du feu devisant et filant,
Direz, chantant mes vers en vous esmerveillant,
Ronsard m'a célébré du temps que j'étois belle."

Some winter night, shut snugly in
Beside the fagot in the hall,
I think I see you sit and spin,
Surrounded by your maidens all.
Old tales are told, old songs are sung,
Old days come back to memory;
You say, "When I was fair and young,
A poet sang of me!"

There's not a maiden in your hall,
Though tired and sleepy ever so,
But wakes, as you my name recall,
And longs the history to know.
And, as the piteous tale is said,
Of lady cold and lover true,
Each, musing, carries it to bed,
And sighs and envies you!

"Our lady's old and feeble now,"
They'll say; "she once was fresh and fair,
And yet she spurn'd her lover's vow,
And heartless left him to despair:
The lover lies in silent earth,
No kindly mate the lady cheers;
She sits beside a lonely hearth,
With threescore and ten years!"

Ah! dreary thoughts and dreams are those,
But wherefore yield me to despair,
While yet the poet's bosom glows,
While yet the dame is peerless fair!
Sweet lady mine! while yet 'tis time
Requite my passion and my truth,
And gather in their blushing prime
The roses of your youth!


Although I enter not,
Yet round about the spot
Ofttimes I hover:
And near the sacred gate,
With longing eyes I wait,
Expectant of her.

The Minster bell tolls out
Above the city's rout,
And noise and humming:
They've hush'd the Minster bell:
The organ 'gins to swell:
She's coming, she's coming!

My lady comes at last,
Timid, and stepping fast,
And hastening hither,
With modest eyes downcast:
She comes--she's here--she's past--
May heaven go with her!

Kneel, undisturb'd, fair Saint!
Pour out your praise or plaint
Meekly and duly;
I will not enter there,
To sully your pure prayer
With thoughts unruly.

But suffer me to pace
Round the forbidden place,
Lingering a minute
Like outcast spirits who wait
And see through heaven's gate
Angels within it.


Ho, pretty page, with the dimpled chin,
That never has known the Barber's shear,
All your wish is woman to win,
This is the way that boys begin,--
Wait till you come to Forty Year.

Curly gold locks cover foolish brains,
Billing and cooing is all your cheer;
Sighing and singing of midnight strains,
Under Bonnybell's window panes,--
Wait till you come to Forty Year.

Forty times over let Michaelmas pass,
Grizzling hair the brain doth clear--
Then you know a boy is an ass,
Then you know the worth of a lass,
Once you have come to Forty Year.

Pledge me round, I bid ye declare,
All good fellows whose beards are gray,
Did not the fairest of the fair
Common grow and wearisome ere
Ever a month was passed away?

The reddest lips that ever have kissed,
The brightest eyes that ever have shone,
May pray and whisper, and we not list,
Or look away, and never be missed,
Ere yet ever a month is gone.

Gillian's dead, God rest her bier,
How I loved her twenty years syne!
Marian's married, but I sit here
Alone and merry at Forty Year,
Dipping my nose in the Gascon wine.


WERTHER had a love for Charlotte
Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,
And a moral man was Werther,
And, for all the wealth of Indies,
Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sighed and pined and ogled,
And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person,
Went on cutting bread and butter.


Fair, and young, and witty,
What has brought your ladyship
Rambling to the City?

All the Stags in Capel Court
Saw her lightly trip it;
All the lads of Stock Exchange
Twigg'd her muff and tippet.

With a sweet perplexity,
And a mystery pretty,
Threading through Threadneedle Street,
Trots the little KITTY.

What was my astonishment--
What was my compunction,
When she reached the Offices
Of the Didland Junction!

Up the Didland stairs she went,
To the Didland door, Sir;
Porters lost in wonderment,
Let her pass before, Sir.

"Madam," says the old chief Clerk,
"Sure we can't admit ye."
"Where's the Didland Junction deed?"
Dauntlessly says KITTY.

"If you doubt my honesty,
Look at my receipt, Sir."
Up then jumps the old chief Clerk,
Smiling as he meets her.

KITTY at the table sits
(Whither the old Clerk leads her),
"I deliver this," she says,
"As my act and deed, Sir."

When I heard these funny words
Come from lips so pretty;
This, I thought, should surely be
Subject for a ditty.

What! are ladies stagging it?
Sure, the more's the pity;
But I've lost my heart to her,--
Naughty little KITTY.



By fate's benevolent award,
Should I survive the day,
I'll drink a bumper with my lord
Upon the last of May.

That I may reach that happy time
The kindly gods I pray,
For are not ducks and pease in prime
Upon the last of May?

At thirty boards, 'twixt now and then,
My knife and fork shall play;
But better wine and better men
I shall not meet in May.

And though, good friend, with whom I dine,
Your honest head is gray,
And, like this grizzled head of mine,
Has seen its last of May;

Yet, with a heart that's ever kind,
A gentle spirit gay,
You've spring perennial in your mind,
And round you make a May!


Ah! bleak and barren was the moor,
Ah! loud and piercing was the storm,
The cottage roof was shelter'd sure,
The cottage hearth was bright and warm--
An orphan-boy the lattice pass'd,
And, as he mark'd its cheerful glow,
Felt doubly keen the midnight blast,
And doubly cold the fallen snow.

They marked him as he onward press'd,
With fainting heart and weary limb;
Kind voices bade him turn and rest,
And gentle faces welcomed him.
The dawn is up--the guest is gone,
The cottage hearth is blazing still:
Heaven pity all poor wanderers lone!
Hark to the wind upon the hill!


A humble flower long time I pined
Upon the solitary plain,
And trembled at the angry wind,
And shrunk before the bitter rain.
And oh! 'twas in a blessed hour
A passing wanderer chanced to see,
And, pitying the lonely flower,
To stoop and gather me.

I fear no more the tempest rude,
On dreary heath no more I pine,
But left my cheerless solitude,
To deck the breast of Caroline.
Alas our days are brief at best,
Nor long I fear will mine endure,
Though shelter'd here upon a breast
So gentle and so pure.

It draws the fragrance from my leaves,
It robs me of my sweetest breath,
And every time it falls and heaves,
It warns me of my coming death.
But one I know would glad forego
All joys of life to be as I;
An hour to rest on that sweet breast,
And then, contented, die!


Beside the old hall-fire--upon my nurse's knee,
Of happy fairy days--what tales were told to me!
I thought the world was once--all peopled with princesses,
And my heart would beat to hear--their loves and their distresses:
And many a quiet night,--in slumber sweet and deep,
The pretty fairy people--would visit me in sleep.

I saw them in my dreams--come flying east and west,
With wondrous fairy gifts--the newborn babe they bless'd;
One has brought a jewel--and one a crown of gold,
And one has brought a curse--but she is wrinkled and old.
The gentle queen turns pale--to hear those words of sin,
But the king he only laughs--and bids the dance begin.

The babe has grown to be--the fairest of the land,
And rides the forest green--a hawk upon her hand,
An ambling palfrey white--a golden robe and crown:
I've seen her in my dreams--riding up and down:
And heard the ogre laugh--as she fell into his snare,
At the little tender creature--who wept and tore her hair!

But ever when it seemed--her need was at the sorest,
A prince in shining mail--comes prancing through the forest,
A waving ostrich-plume--a buckler burnished bright;
I've seen him in my dreams--good sooth! a gallant knight.
His lips are coral red--beneath a dark moustache;
See how he waves his hand--and how his blue eyes flash!

"Come forth, thou Paynim knight!"--he shouts in accents clear.
The giant and the maid--both tremble his voice to hear.
Saint Mary guard him well!--he draws his falchion keen,
The giant and the knight--are fighting on the green.
I see them in my dreams--his blade gives stroke on stroke,
The giant pants and reels--and tumbles like an oak!

With what a blushing grace--he falls upon his knee
And takes the lady's hand--and whispers, "You are free!"
Ah! happy childish tales--of knight and faërie!
I waken from my dreams--but there's ne'er a knight for me;
I waken from my dreams--and wish that I could be
A child by the old hall-fire--upon my nurse's knee!


Wearied arm and broken sword
Wage in vain the desperate fight:
Round him press a countless horde,
He is but a single knight.
Hark! a cry of triumph shrill
Through the wilderness resounds,
As, with twenty bleeding wounds,
Sinks the warrior, fighting still.

Now they heap the fatal pyre,
And the torch of death they light:
Ah! 'tis hard to die of fire!
Who will shield the captive knight?
Round the stake with fiendish cry
Wheel and dance the savage crowd,
Cold the victim's mien, and proud.
And his breast is bared to die.

Who will shield the fearless heart?
Who avert the murderous blade?
From the throng, with sudden start,
See there springs an Indian maid.
Quick she stands before the knight,
"Loose the chain, unbind the ring,
I am daughter of the king,
And I claim the Indian right!"

Dauntlessly aside she flings
Lifted axe and thirsty knife;
Fondly to his heart she clings,
And her bosom guards his life!
In the woods of Powhattan,
Still 'tis told by Indian fires,
How a daughter of their sires
Saved the captive Englishman.


Returning from the cruel fight
How pale and faint appears my knight!
He sees me anxious at his side;
"Why seek, my love, your wounds to hide?
Or deem your English girl afraid
To emulate the Indian maid?"

Be mine my husband's grief to cheer
In peril to be ever near;
Whate'er of ill or woe betide,
To bear it clinging at his side;
The poisoned stroke of fate to ward,
His bosom with my own to guard:
Ah! could it spare a pang to his,
It could not know a purer bliss!
'Twould gladden as it felt the smart,
And thank the hand that flung the dart!




Winter and summer, night and morn,
I languish at this table dark;
My office window has a corn-
er looks into St. James's Park.
I hear the foot-guards' bugle-horn,
Their tramp upon parade I mark;
I am a gentleman forlorn,
I am a Foreign-Office Clerk.

My toils, my pleasures, every one,
I find are stale, and dull, and slow;
And yesterday, when work was done,
I felt myself so sad and low,
I could have seized a sentry's gun
My wearied brains out out to blow.
What is it makes my blood to run?
What makes my heart to beat and glow?

My notes of hand are burnt, perhaps?
Some one has paid my tailor's bill?
No: every morn the tailor raps;
My I O U's are extant still.
I still am prey of debt and dun;
My elder brother's stout and well.
What is it makes my blood to run?
What makes my heart to glow and swell?

I know my chief's distrust and hate;
He says I'm lazy, and I shirk.
Ah! had I genius like the late
Right Honorable Edmund Burke!
My chance of all promotion's gone,
I know it is,--he hates me so.
What is it makes my blood to run,
And all my heart to swell and glow?

Why, why is all so bright and gay?
There is no change, there is no cause;
My office-time I found to-day
Disgusting as it ever was.
At three, I went and tried the Clubs,
And yawned and saunter'd to and fro;
And now my heart jumps up and throbs,
And all my soul is in a glow.

At half-past four I had the cab;
I drove as hard as I could go.
The London sky was dirty drab,
And dirty brown the London snow.
And as I rattled in a cant-
er down by dear old Bolton Row,
A something made my heart to pant,
And caused my cheek to flush and glow.

What could it be that made me find
Old Jawkins pleasant at the Club?
Why was it that I laughed and grinned
At whist, although I lost the rub?
What was it made me drink like mad
Thirteen small glasses of Curaço?
That made my inmost heart so glad,
And every fibre thrill and glow?

She's home again! she's home, she's home!
Away all cares and griefs and pain;
I knew she would--she's back from Rome;
She's home again! she's home again!
"The family's gone abroad," they said,
September last they told me so;
Since then my lonely heart is dead,
My blood I think's forgot to flow.

She's home again! away all care!
O fairest form the world can show!
O beaming eyes! O golden hair!
O tender voice, that breathes so low!
O gentlest, softest, purest heart!
O joy, O hope!--"My tiger, ho!"
Fitz-Clarence said; we saw him start--
He galloped down to Bolton Row.



I was a timid little antelope;
My home was in the rocks, the lonely rocks.

I saw the hunters scouring on the plain;
I lived among the rocks, the lonely rocks.

I was a-thirsty in the summer-heat;
I ventured to the tents beneath the rocks.

Zuleikah brought me water from the well;
Since then I have been faithless to the rocks.

I saw her face reflected in the well;
Her camels since have marched into the rocks.

I look to see her image in the well;
I only see my eyes, my own sad eyes.
My mother is alone among the rocks.


ZULEIKAH! The young Agas in the bazaar are slim-wasted and wear
yellow slippers. I am old and hideous. One of my eyes is out, and
the hairs of my beard are mostly gray. Praise be to Allah! I am a
merry bard.

There is a bird upon the terrace of the Emir's chief wife. Praise
be to Allah! He has emeralds on his neck, and a ruby tail. I am a
merry bard. He deafens me with his diabolical screaming.

There is a little brown bird in the basket-maker's cage. Praise be
to Allah! He ravishes my soul in the moonlight. I am a merry bard.

The peacock is an Aga, but the little bird is a Bulbul.

I am a little brown Bulbul. Come and listen in the moonlight.
Praise be to Allah! I am a merry bard.


Yonder to the kiosk, beside the creek,
Paddle the swift caïque.
Thou brawny oarsman with the sunburnt cheek,
Quick! for it soothes my heart to hear the Bulbul speak.

Ferry me quickly to the Asian shores,
Swift bending to your oars.
Beneath the melancholy sycamores,
Hark! what a ravishing note the lovelorn Bulbul pours.

Behold, the boughs seem quivering with delight,
The stars themselves more bright,
As mid the waving branches out of sight
The Lover of the Rose sits singing through the night.

Under the boughs I sat and listened still,
I could not have my fill.
"How comes," I said, "such music to his bill?
Tell me for whom he sings so beautiful a trill."

"Once I was dumb," then did the Bird disclose,
"But looked upon the Rose;
And in the garden where the loved one grows,
I straightway did begin sweet music to compose."

"O bird of song, there's one in this caïque
The Rose would also seek,
So he might learn like you to love and speak."
Then answered me the bird of dusky beak,
"The Rose, the Rose of Love blushes on Leilah's cheek."


Beneath the gold acacia buds
My gentle Nora sits and broods,
Far, far away in Boston woods
My gentle Nora!

I see the tear-drop in her e'e,
Her bosom's heaving tenderly;
I know--I know she thinks of me,
My Darling Nora!

And where am I? My love, whilst thou
Sitt'st sad beneath the acacia bough,
Where pearl's on neck, and wreath on brow,
I stand, my Nora!

Mid carcanet and coronet,
Where joy-lamps shine and flowers are set--
Where England's chivalry are met,
Behold me, Nora!

In this strange scene of revelry,
Amidst this gorgeous chivalry,
A form I saw was like to thee,
My love--my Nora!

She paused amidst her converse glad;
The lady saw that I was sad,
She pitied the poor lonely lad,--
Dost love her, Nora?

In sooth, she is a lovely dame,
A lip of red, and eye of flame,
And clustering golden locks, the same
As thine, dear Nora?

Her glance is softer than the dawn's,
Her foot is lighter than the fawn's,
Her breast is whiter than the swan's,
Or thine, my Nora!

Oh, gentle breast to pity me!
Oh, lovely Ladye Emily!
Till death--till death I'll think of thee--
Of thee and Nora!


I seem, in the midst of the crowd,
The lightest of all;
My laughter rings cheery and loud,
In banquet and ball.
My lip hath its smiles and its sneers,
For all men to see;
But my soul, and my truth, and my tears,
Are for thee, are for thee!

Around me they flatter and fawn--
The young and the old.
The fairest are ready to pawn
Their hearts for my gold.
They sue me--I laugh as I spurn
The slaves at my knee;
But in faith and in fondness I turn
Unto thee, unto thee!


Now the toils of day are over,
And the sun hath sunk to rest,
Seeking, like a fiery lover,
The bosom of the blushing west--

The faithful night keeps watch and ward,
Raising the moon her silver shield,
And summoning the stars to guard
The slumbers of my fair Mathilde!

The faithful night! Now all things lie
Hid by her mantle dark and dim,
In pious hope I hither hie,
And humbly chant mine ev'ning hymn.

Thou art my prayer, my saint, my shrine!
(For never holy pilgrim kneel'd,
Or wept at feet more pure than thine),
My virgin love, my sweet Mathilde!


Tink-a-tink, tink-a-tink,
By the light of the star,
On the blue river's brink,
I heard a guitar.

I heard a guitar,
On the blue waters clear,
And knew by its music,
That Selim was near!

Tink-a-tink, tink-a-tink,
How the soft music swells,
And I hear the soft clink
Of the minaret bells!


Come to the greenwood tree,
Come where the dark woods be,
Dearest, O come with me!
Let us rove--O my love--O my love!

Come--'tis the moonlight hour,
Dew is on leaf and flower,
Come to the linden bower,--
Let us rove--O my love--O my love!

Dark is the wood, and wide
Dangers, they say, betide;
But, at my Albert's side,
Nought I fear, O my love--O my love!

Welcome the greenwood tree,
Welcome the forest free,
Dearest, with thee, with thee,
Nought I fear, O my love--O my love!




"--'s war Einer, dem's zu Herzen gieng."

There lived a sage in days of yore
And he a handsome pigtail wore;
But wondered much and sorrowed more
Because it hung behind him.

He mused upon this curious case,
And swore he'd change the pigtail's place,
And have it hanging at his face,
Not dangling there behind him.

Says he, "The mystery I've found,--
I'll turn me round,"--he turned him round;
But still it hung behind him.

Then round, and round, and out and in,
All day the puzzled sage did spin;
In vain--it mattered not a pin,--
The pigtail hung behind him.

And right, and left, and round about,
And up, and down, and in, and out,
He turned; but still the pigtail stout
Hung steadily behind him.

And though his efforts never slack,
And though he twist, and twirl, and tack,
Alas! still faithful to his back
The pigtail hangs behind him.



"Es pflückte Blümlein mannigfalt."

A little girl through field and wood
Went plucking flowerets here and there,
When suddenly beside her stood
A lady wondrous fair!

The lovely lady smiled, and laid
A wreath upon the maiden's brow;
"Wear it, 'twill blossom soon," she said,
"Although 'tis leafless now."

The little maiden older grew
And wandered forth of moonlight eves,
And sighed and loved as maids will do;
When, lo! her wreath bore leaves.

Then was our maid a wife, and hung
Upon a joyful bridegroom's bosom;
When from the garland's leaves there sprung
Fair store of blossom.

And presently a baby fair
Upon her gentle breast she reared;
When midst the wreath that bound her hair
Rich golden fruit appeared.

But when her love lay cold in death,
Sunk in the black and silent tomb,
All sere and withered was the wreath
That wont so bright to bloom.

Yet still the withered wreath she wore;
She wore it at her dying hour;
When, to the wondrous garland bore
Both leaf, and fruit, and flower!



"Da liegen sie alle, die grauen Höhen."

The cold gray hills they bind me around,
The darksome valleys lie sleeping below,
But the winds as they pass o'er all this ground,
Bring me never a sound of woe!

Oh! for all I have suffered and striven,
Care has embittered my cup and my feast;
But here is the night and the dark blue heaven,
And my soul shall be at rest.

O golden legends writ in the skies!
I turn towards you with longing soul,
And list to the awful harmonies
Of the Spheres as on they roll.

My hair is gray and my sight nigh gone;
My sword it rusteth upon the wall;
Right have I spoken, and right have I done:
When shall I rest me once for all?

O blessed rest! O royal night!
Wherefore seemeth the time so long
Till I see you stars in their fullest light,
And list to their loudest song?



"Und Du gingst einst, die Myrt' im Haare."

And thou wert once a maiden fair,
A blushing virgin warm and young:
With myrtles wreathed in golden hair,
And glossy brow that knew no care--
Upon a bridegroom's arm you hung.

The golden locks are silvered now,
The blushing cheek is pale and wan;
The spring may bloom, the autumn glow,
All's one--in chimney corner thou
Sitt'st shivering on.--

A moment--and thou sink'st to rest!
To wake perhaps an angel blest,
In the bright presence of thy Lord.
Oh, weary is life's path to all!
Hard is the strife, and light the fall,
But wondrous the reward!



For the sole edification
Of this decent congregation,
Goodly people, by your grant
I will sing a holy chant--
I will sing a holy chant.
If the ditty sound but oddly,
'Twas a father, wise and godly,
Sang it so long ago--
Then sing as Martin Luther sang,
As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
"Who loves not wine, woman and song,
He is a fool his whole life long!"


He, by custom patriarchal,
Loved to see the beaker sparkle;
And he thought the wine improved,
Tasted by the lips he loved--
By the kindly lips he loved.
Friends, I wish this custom pious
Duly were observed by us,
To combine love, song, wine,
And sing as Martin Luther sang,
As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
"Who loves not wine, woman and song,
He is a fool his whole life long!"


Who refuses this our Credo,
And who will not sing as we do,
Were he holy as John Knox,
I'd pronounce him heterodox!
I'd pronounce him heterodox,
And from out this congregation,
With a solemn commination,
Banish quick the heretic,
Who will not sing as Luther sang,
As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
"Who loves not wine, woman and song,
He is a fool his whole life long!"



Il était un roi d'Yvetot,
Peu connu dans l'histoire;
Se levant tard, se couchant tôt,
Dormant fort bien sans gloire,
Et couronné par Jeanneton
D'un simple bonnet de coton,
Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah!
Quel bon petit roi c'était la!
La, la.

Il fesait ses quatre repas
Dans son palais de chaume,
Et sur un âne, pas à pas,
Parcourait son royaume.
Joyeux, simple et croyant le bien,
Pour toute garde il n'avait rien
Qu'un chien.
Oh! oh! oh ! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.

Il n'avait de goût onéreux
Qu'une soif un peu vive;
Mais, en rendant son peuple heureux,
Il faut bien qu'un roi vive.
Lui-même à table, et sans suppôt,
Sur chaque muid levait un pot
Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.

Aux filles de bonnes maisons
Comme il avait su plaire,
Ses sujets avaient cent raisons
De le nommer leur père:
D'ailleurs il ne levait de ban
Que pour tirer quatre fois l'an
Au blanc.
Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.

Il n'agrandit point ses états,
Fut un voisin commode,
Et, modèle des potentats,
Prit le plaisir pour code.
Ce n'est que loraqu'il expira,
Que le peuple qui l'enterra
Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.

On conserve encor le portrait
De ce digne et bon prince;
C'est l'enseigne d'un cabaret
Fameux dans la province.
Les jours de fête, bien souvent,
La foule s'écrie en buvant
Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.


There was a king of Yvetot,
Of whom renown hath little said,
Who let all thoughts of glory go,
And dawdled half his days a-bed;
And every night, as night came round,
By Jenny, with a nightcap crowned,
Slept very sound:
Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he!
That's the kind of king for me.

And every day it came to pass,
That four lusty meals made he;
And, step by step, upon an ass,
Rode abroad, his realms to see;
And wherever he did stir,
What think you was his escort, sir?
Why, an old cur.
Sing ho, ho, ho ! &c.

If e'er he went into excess,
'Twas from a somewhat lively thirst;
But he who would his subjects bless,
Odd's fish!--must wet his whistle first;
And so from every cask they got,
Our king did to himself allot,
At least a pot.
Sing ho, ho! &c.

To all the ladies of the land,
A courteous king, and kind, was he;
The reason why you'll understand,
They named him Pater Patriae.
Each year he called his fighting men,
And marched a league from home, and then
Marched back again.
Sing ho, ho! &c.

Neither by force nor false pretence,
He sought to make his kingdom great,
And made (O princes, learn from hence),--
"Live and let live," his rule of state.
'Twas only when he came to die,
That his people who stood by,
Were known to cry.
Sing ho, ho! &c.

The portrait of this best of kings
Is extant still, upon a sign
That on a village tavern swings,
Famed in the country for good wine.
The people in their Sunday trim,
Filling their glasses to the brim,
Look up to him,
Singing ha, ha, ha! and he, he, he!
That's the sort of king for me.



There was a king in Brentford,--of whom no legends tell,
But who, without his glory,--could eat and sleep right well.
His Polly's cotton nightcap,--it was his crown of state,
He slept of evenings early,--and rose of mornings late.

All in a fine mud palace,--each day he took four meals,
And for a guard of honor,--a dog ran at his heels,
Sometimes, to view his kingdoms,--rode forth this monarch good,
And then a prancing jackass--he royally bestrode.

There were no costly habits--with which this king was curst,
Except (and where's the harm on't?)--a somewhat lively thirst;
But people must pay taxes,--and kings must have their sport,
So out of every gallon--His Grace he took a quart.

He pleased the ladies round him,--with manners soft and bland;
With reason good, they named him,--the father of his land.
Each year his mighty armies--marched forth in gallant show;
Their enemies were targets--their bullets they were tow.

He vexed no quiet neighbor,--no useless conquest made,
But by the laws of pleasure,--his peaceful realm he swayed.
And in the years he reigned,--through all this country wide,
There was no cause for weeping,--save when the good man died.

The faithful men of Brentford,--do still their king deplore,
His portrait yet is swinging,-- beside an alehouse door.
And topers, tender-hearted,--regard his honest phiz,
And envy times departed--that knew a reign like his.


Je viens revoir l'asile où ma jeunesse
De la misère a subi les leçons.
J'avais vingt ans, une folle maîtresse,
De francs amis et l'amour des chansons.
Bravant le monde et les sots et les sages,
Sans avenir, riche de mon printemps,
Leste et joyeux je montais six étages,
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien a vingt ans.

C'est un grenier, point ne veux qu'on l'ignore.
Là fut mon lit, bien chétif et bien dur;
Là fut ma table; et je retrouve encore
Trois pieds d'un vers charbonnés sur le mur.
Apparaissez, plaisirs de mon bel âge,
Que d'un coup d'aile a fustigés le temps,
Vingt fois pour vous j'ai ma montre en gage.
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!

Lisette ici doit surtout apparaître,
Vive, jolie, avec un frais chapeau;
Déjà sa main à l'étroite fenêtre
Suspend son schal, en guise de rideau.
Sa robe aussi va parer ma couchette;
Respecte, Amour, ses plis longs et flottans.
Jai su depuis qui payait sa toilette
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!

A table un jour, jour de grande richesse,
De mes amis les voix brillaient en choeur,
Quand jusqu'ici monte on cri d'allégresse;
A Marengo Bonaparte est vainqueur.
Le canon gronde; un autre chant commence;
Nous célébrons tant de faits éclatans.
Les rois jamais n'envahiront la France.
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!

Quittons ce toit où ma raison s'enivre.
Oh! qu'ils sont loin ces jours si regrettés!
J'echangerais ce qu'il me reste à vivre
Contre un des mois qu'ici Dieu ma comptés.
Pour rêver gloire, amour, plaisir, folie,
Pour dépenser sa vie en peu d'instans,
D'un long espoir pour la voir embellie,
Dans un grenier qu'on est bien à vingt ans!


With pensive eyes the little room I view,
Where, in my youth, I weathered it so long;
With a wild mistress, a stanch friend or two,
And a light heart still breaking into song:
Making a mock of life, and all its cares,
Rich in the glory of my rising sun,
Lightly I vaulted up four pair of stairs,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

Yes; 'tis a garret--let him know't who will--
There was my bed--full hard it was and small;
My table there--and I decipher still
Half a lame couplet charcoaled on the wall.
Ye joys, that Time hath swept with him away,
Come to mine eyes, ye dreams of love and fun;
For you I pawned my watch how many a day,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

And see my little Jessy, first of all;
She comes with pouting lips and sparkling eyes:
Behold, how roguishly she pins her shawl
Across the narrow casement, curtain-wise;
Now by the bed her petticoat glides down,
And when did woman look the worse in none?
I have heard since who paid for many a gown,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

One jolly evening, when my friends and I
Made happy music with our songs and cheers,
A shout of triumph mounted up thus high,
And distant cannon opened on our ears:
We rise,--we join in the triumphant strain,--
Napoleon conquers--Austerlitz is won--
Tyrants shall never tread us down again,
In the brave days when I was twenty-one.

Let us begone--the place is sad and strange--
How far, far off, these happy times appear;
All that I have to live I'd gladly change
For one such month as I have wasted here--
To draw long dreams of beauty, love, and power,
From founts of hope that never will outrun,
And drink all life's quintessence in an hour,
Give me the days when I was twenty-one!


Aux gens atrabilaires
Pour exemple donné,
En un temps de misères
Roger-Bontemps est né.
Vivre obscur à sa guise,
Narguer les mécontens;
Eh gai! c'est la devise
Du gros Roger-Bontemps.

Du chapeau de son père
Coîffé dans les grands jours,
De roses ou de lierre
Le rajeunir toujours;
Mettre un manteau de bure,
Vieil ami de vingt ans;
Eh gai! c'est la parure
Du gros Roger-Bontemps.

Posséder dans en hutte
Une table, un vieux lit,
Des cartes, une flûte,
Un broc que Dieu remplit;
Un portrait de maîtresse,
Un coffre et rien dedans;
Eh gai! c'est la richesse
Du gros Roger-Bontemps.

Aux enfans de la ville
Montrer de petite jeux;
Etre fesseur habile
De contes graveleux;
Ne parler que de danse
Et d'almanachs chantans:
Eh gai! c'est la science
Du gros Roger-bontemps.

Faute de vins d'élite,
Sabler ceux du canton:
Préférer Marguerite
Aux dames du grand ton:
De joie et de tendresse
Remplir tous ses instans:
Eh gai! c'est la sagesse
Du gros Roger-Bontemps.

Dire au ciel: Je me fie,
Mon père, à ta bonté;
De ma philosophie
Pardonne le gaîté;
Que ma saison dernière
Soit encore un printemps;
Eh gai! c'est la prière
Du gros Roger-Bontemps.

Vous pauvres pleins d'envie,
Vous riches désireux,
Vous, dont le char dévie
Après un cours heureux;
Vous qui perdrez peut-être
Des titres éclatans,
Eh gai! prenez pour maître
Le gros Roger-Bontemps.


When fierce political debate
Throughout the isle was storming,
And Rads attacked the throne and state,
And Tories the reforming,
To calm the furious rage of each,
And right the land demented,
Heaven sent us Jolly Jack, to teach
The way to be contented.

Jack's bed was straw, 'twas warm and soft,
His chair, a three-legged stool;
His broken jug was emptied oft,
Yet, somehow, always full.
His mistress' portrait decked the wall,
His mirror had a crack;
Yet, gay and glad, though this was all
His wealth, lived Jolly Jack.

To give advice to avarice,
Teach pride its mean condition,
And preach good sense to dull pretence,
Was honest Jack's high mission.
Our simple statesman found his rule
Of moral in the flagon,
And held his philosophic school
Beneath the "George and Dragon."

When village Solons cursed the Lords,
And called the malt-tax sinful,
Jack heeded not their angry words,
But smiled and drank his skinful.
And when men wasted health and life,
In search of rank and riches,
Jack marked aloof the paltry strife,
And wore his threadbare breeches.

"I enter not the church," he said,
But I'll not seek to rob it;"
So worthy Jack Joe Miller read,
While others studied Cobbett.
His talk it was of feast and fun;
His guide the Almanack;
From youth to age thus gayly run
The life of Jolly Jack.

And when Jack prayed, as oft he would,
He humbly thanked his Maker;
"I am," said he, "O Father good!
Nor Catholic nor Quaker:
Give each his creed, let each proclaim
His catalogue of curses;
I trust in Thee, and not in them,
In Thee, and in Thy mercies!

"Forgive me if, midst all Thy works,
No hint I see of damning;
And think there's faith among the Turks,
And hope for e'en the Brahmin.
Harmless my mind is, and my mirth,
And kindly is my laughter:
I cannot see the smiling earth,
And think there's hell hereafter."

Jack died; he left no legacy,
Save that his story teaches:--
Content to peevish poverty;
Humility to riches.
Ye scornful great, ye envious small,
Come follow in his track;
We all were happier, if we all
Would copy JOLLY JACK.



Persicos odi
Puer, apparatus;
Displicent nexae
Philyrâ coronae:
Mitte sectari,
Rosa qua locorum
Sera moretur.

Simplici myrto
Nihil allabores
Sedulus, curo:
Neque te ministrum
Dedecet myrtus,
Neque me sub arctâ
Vite bibentem.


Dear LUCY, you know what my wish is,--
I hate all your Frenchified fuss:
Your silly entrées and made dishes
Were never intended for us.
No footman in lace and in ruffles
Need dangle behind my arm-chair;
And never mind seeking for truffles,
Although they be ever so rare.

But a plain leg of mutton, my Lucy,
I prithee get ready at three:
Have it smoking, and tender and juicy,
And what better meat can there be?
And when it has feasted the master,
'Twill amply suffice for the maid;
Meanwhile I will smoke my canaster,
And tipple my ale in the shade.



Untrue to my Ulric I never could be,
I vow by the saints and the blessed Marie,
Since the desolate hour when we stood by the shore,
And your dark galley waited to carry you o'er:
My faith then I plighted, my love I confess'd,
As I gave you the BATTLE-AXE marked with your crest!

When the bold barons met in my father's old hall,
Was not Edith the flower of the banquet and ball?
In the festival hour, on the lips of your bride,
Was there ever a smile save with THEE at my side?
Alone in my turret I loved to sit best,
To blazon your BANNER and broider your crest.

The knights were assembled, the tourney was gay!
Sir Ulric rode first in the warrior-mêlée.
In the dire battle-hour, when the tourney was done,
And you gave to another the wreath you had won!
Though I never reproached thee, cold, cold was my breast,
As I thought of that BATTLE-AXE, ah! and that crest!

But away with remembrance, no more will I pine
That others usurped for a time what was mine!
There's a FESTIVAL HOUR for my Ulric and me:
Once more, as of old, shall he bend at my knee;
Once more by the side of the knight I love best
Shall I blazon his BANNER and broider his crest.


"Your Molly has never been false, she declares,
Since the last time we parted at Wapping Old Stairs;
When I said that I would continue the same,
And I gave you the 'bacco-box marked with my name.
When I passed a whole fortnight between decks with you,
Did I e'er give a kiss, Tom, to one of your crew?
To be useful and kind to my Thomas I stay'd,
For his trousers I washed, and his grog too I made.

Though you promised last Sunday to walk in the Mall
With Susan from Deptford and likewise with Sall,
In silence I stood your unkindness to hear
And only upbraided my Tom with a tear.
Why should Sall, or should Susan, than me be more prized?
For the heart that is true, Tom, should ne'er be despised;
Then be constant and kind, nor your Molly forsake,
Still your trousers I'll wash and your grog too I'll make."


Your Fanny was never false-hearted,
And this she protests and she vows,
From the triste moment when we parted
On the staircase of Devonshire House!
I blushed when you asked me to marry,
I vowed I would never forget;
And at parting I gave my dear Harry
A beautiful vinegarette!

We spent en province all December,
And I ne'er condescended to look
At Sir Charles, or the rich county member,
Or even at that darling old Duke.
You were busy with dogs and with horses,
Alone in my chamber I sat,
And made you the nicest of purses,
And the smartest black satin cravat!

At night with that vile Lady Frances
(Je faisois moi tapisserie)
You danced every one of the dances,
And never once thought of poor me!
Mon pauvre petit coeur! what a shiver
I felt as she danced the last set;
And you gave, O mon Dieu! to revive her
My beautiful vinegarette!

Return, love! away with coquetting;
This flirting disgraces a man!
And ah! all the while you're forgetting
The heart of your poor little Fan!
Reviens! break away from those Circes,
Reviens, for a nice little chat;
And I've made you the sweetest of purses,
And a lovely black satin cravat!


When the moonlight's on the mountain
And the gloom is on the glen,
At the cross beside the fountain
There is one will meet thee then.
At the cross beside the fountain;
Yes, the cross beside the fountain,
There is one will meet thee then!

I have braved, since first we met, love,
Many a danger in my course;
But I never can forget, love,
That dear fountain, that old cross,
Where, her mantle shrouded o'er her--
For the winds were chilly then--
First I met my Leonora,
When the gloom was on the glen.

Many a clime I've ranged since then, love,
Many a land I've wandered o'er;
But a valley like that glen, love,
Half so dear I never sor!
Ne'er saw maiden fairer, coyer,
Than wert thou, my true love, when
In the gloaming first I saw yer,
In the gloaming of the glen!


Where the quivering lightning flings
His arrows from out the clouds,
And the howling tempest sings
And whistles among the shrouds,
'Tis pleasant, 'tis pleasant to ride
Along the foaming brine--
Wilt be the Rover's bride?
Wilt follow him, lady mine?
For the bonny, bonny brine.

Amidst the storm and rack,
You shall see our galley pass,
As a serpent, lithe and black,
Glides through the waving grass.
As the vulture swift and dark,
Down on the ring-dove flies,
You shall see the Rovers bark
Swoop down upon his prize.
For the bonny, bonny prize.

Over her sides we dash,
We gallop across her deck--
Ha! there's a ghastly gash
On the merchant-captain's neck--
Well shot, well shot, old Ned!
Well struck, well struck, black James!
Our arms are red, and our foes are dead,
And we leave a ship in flames!
For the bonny, bonny flames!


Dear Jack, this white mug that with Guinness I fill,
And drink to the health of sweet Nan of the Hill,
Was once Tommy Tosspot's, as jovial a sot
As e'er drew a spigot, or drain'd a full pot--
In drinking all round 'twas his joy to surpass,
And with all merry tipplers he swigg'd off his glass.

One morning in summer, while seated so snug,
In the porch of his garden, discussing his jug,
Stern Death, on a sudden, to Tom did appear,
And said, "Honest Thomas, come take your last bier."
We kneaded his clay in the shape of this can,
From which let us drink to the health of my Nan.


The Pope he is a happy man,
His Palace is the Vatican,
And there he sits and drains his can:
The Pope he is a happy man.
I often say when I'm at home,
I'd like to be the Pope of Rome.

And then there's Sultan Saladin,
That Turkish Soldan full of sin;
He has a hundred wives at least,
By which his pleasure is increased:
I've often wished, I hope no sin,
That I were Sultan Saladin.

But no, the Pope no wife may choose,
And so I would not wear his shoes;
No wine may drink the proud Paynim,
And so I'd rather not be him:
My wife, my wine, I love, I hope,
And would be neither Turk nor Pope.


When moonlike ore the hazure seas
In soft effulgence swells,
When silver jews and balmy breaze
Bend down the Lily's bells;
When calm and deap, the rosy sleep
Has lapt your soal in dreems,
R Hangeline! R lady mine!
Dost thou remember Jeames?

I mark thee in the Marble All,
Where England's loveliest shine--
I say the fairest of them hall
Is Lady Hangeline.
My soul, in desolate eclipse,
With recollection teems--
And then I hask, with weeping lips,
Dost thou remember Jeames?

Away! I may not tell thee hall
This soughring heart endures--
There is a lonely sperrit-call
That Sorrow never cures;
There is a little, little Star,
That still above me beams;
It is the Star of Hope--but ar!
Dost thou remember Jeames?


KING CANUTE was weary hearted; he had reigned for years a score,
Battling, struggling, pushing, fighting, killing much and robbing more;
And he thought upon his actions, walking by the wild sea-shore.

'Twixt the Chancellor and Bishop walked the King with steps sedate,
Chamberlains and grooms came after, silversticks and goldsticks great,
Chaplains, aides-de-camp, and pages,--all the officers of state.

Sliding after like his shadow, pausing when he chose to pause,
If a frown his face contracted, straight the courtiers dropped their
If to laugh the king was minded, out they burst in loud hee-haws.

But that day a something vexed him, that was clear to old and young:
Thrice his Grace had yawned at table, when his favorite gleemen sung,
Once the Queen would have consoled him, but he bade her hold her tongue.

"Something ails my gracious master," cried the Keeper of the Seal.
"Sure, my lord, it is the lampreys served to dinner, or the veal?"
"Psha!" exclaimed the angry monarch, "Keeper, 'tis not that I feel.

"'Tis the HEART, and not the dinner, fool, that doth my rest impair:
Can a king be great as I am, prithee, and yet know no care?
Oh, I'm sick, and tired, and weary."--Some one cried, "The King's arm-

Then towards the lackeys turning, quick my Lord the Keeper nodded,
Straight the King's great chair was brought him, by two footmen able-
Languidly he sank into it: it was comfortably wadded.

"Leading on my fierce companions," cried he, "over storm and brine,
I have fought and I have conquered! Where was glory like to mine?"
Loudly all the courtiers echoed: "Where is glory like to thine?"

"What avail me all my kingdoms? Weary am I now and old;
Those fair sons I have begotten, long to see me dead and cold;
Would I were, and quiet buried, underneath the silent mould!

"Oh, remorse, the writhing serpent! at my bosom tears and bites;
Horrid, horrid things I look on, though I put out all the lights;
Ghosts of ghastly recollections troop about my bed at nights.

"Cities burning, convents blazing, red with sacrilegious fires;
Mothers weeping, virgins screaming vainly for their slaughtered
Such a tender conscience," cries the Bishop, "every one admires.

"But for such unpleasant bygones, cease, my gracious lord, to search,
They're forgotten and forgiven by our Holy Mother Church;
Never, never does she leave her benefactors in the lurch.

Book of the day: