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William Shakespeare

King Claudius: It shall be so.
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.

classic line from Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1 by (1599)Report problemRelated quotes
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William Shakespeare

King Claudius: The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
Than is my deed to my most painted word.

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Satyr I. A Letter To A Friend. On Poets.

Poets are bound by ye severest rules,
the great ones must be mad, ye little all are fools,
thus wn. I rime 'tis at my own expence,
to please my friend, I drop my claim to sence.
but now ye greater sway wch custome bears,
to forfeit souls in oaths, or sence in verse?
the using of an ill has so much power,
stamp it a fashion, & its ill no more.
since then ye humour so extremely reigns,
that ye gay folly every brest unbends,
let me beneath ye common shadow hide
the fault's not mine thats all ye worlds beside.
say then if passion, discontent, or ease
sho'd e're your friend wth poetry possess,
for these, and want, ye muses setters seeme,
to draw in cullies to their loosing game,
how may I know yepath I ought to tread,
for 'tis in all mens natures to succeed
some one way more than any else beside.
fancy the reigning planet of yer. mind
guides poets, & like her they're unconfin'd;
a bounded genius will attempt to prove,
the stings of satyr, & ye flames of love,
Jear folly, virtue by example praise,
& move our passions & or. language raise
happy one way but one he'l scorn to chuse
so much or. wilder hopes our parts abuse.
Durfy more luckily employs his quill
weak as he is he knows his talent still.
Wn C---r taught how plays debaucht ye age
he left to V---ke to defend the stage,
in rufull ballad humbly pleas'd to rage.
how great & undisturb'd by censuring foes
might eithers fame beneath thier wreaths repose
had B---l nere written verse nor C---ve prose.
B---r in Epicks may be still inspir'd,
by men of sence approv'd by all ye rest admir'd
let him of Williams thickned lawrells sing
while for himself from every page they spring
& that shall crowne ye poet wch adorns ye King
but nere to tread in scandalls rougher ways
again depart ye peacefull realms of praise.
we read his satyr & his wit allow,
we read & own the blended malice too.
but oft his muse shows an unpointed tooth
Wn. a just turn of verse don't raise ye illnaturd truth
low puns for wit his lines do often fill
& oft he rambles in too loose a stile;
the biting satyr fights in closer file.
laborious T---te has many methods try'd,
to know wt. happy way he may succeed,
A play or two employ'd his hopes at first,
far from ye best, a little from ye worst,
then bits of foreign poets to or. tongue,
more happily he brought, more sweetly sung,
flush'd with success, he rises up from hence,
to rescue David at his own expence.
so have I known some painters wn. a face
in spight of all their touches wants to please
turn up its eys & alter all its dress
the auction piece a flowing glory wears,
& where the syren fail'd; ye saint appears.
Now I, who proudly authors thus arraign,
am, may be, envious thought, & may be vain,
but if my lines can gain one friends esteem,
or my diversion be, 'tis all my aim,
I never bid perhaps nere shall for fame.
Nay sho'd I find my censures too severe,
Ide in my changing prove my temper fair,
and see with joy an error disappear;
let Dennis rules for writing well lay downe,
believe wt he prescribes his play has done,
a preface write to shew he dos not faile,
Till Hypers to himself ye fop reveale.

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Farewell to one now silenced quite,
Sent out of hearing, out of sight,--
My friend of friends, whom I shall miss,
He is not banished, though, for this,--
Nor he, nor sadness, nor delight.

Though I shall talk with him no more,
A low voice sounds upon the shore.
He must not watch my resting-place,
But who shall drive a mournful face
From the sad winds about my door?

I shall not hear his voice complain,
But who shall stop the patient rain?
His tears must not disturb my heart,
But who shall change the years and part
The world from any thought of pain?

Although my life is left so dim,
The morning crowns the mountain-rim;
Joy is not gone from summer skies,
Nor innocence from children's eyes,
And all of these things are part of him.

He is not banished, for the showers
Yet wake this green warm earth of ours.
How can the summer but be sweet?
I shall not have him at my feet,
And yet my feet are on the flowers.

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Still serve me in my age, I pray,
As in my youth, O faithful one;
For years I've brushed thee every day-
Could Socrates have better done?
What though the fates would wreak on thee
The fulness of their evil art?
Use thou philosophy, like me-
And we, old friend, shall never part!

I think-I
think of it-
The day we twain first faced the crowd;
My roistering friends impeached your fit,
But you and I were very proud!
Those jovial friends no more make free
With us (no longer new and smart),
But rather welcome you and me
As loving friends that should not part.

The patch? Oh, yes-one happy night-
'Lisette,' says I, 'it's time to go'-
She clutched this sleeve to stay my flight,
Shrieking: 'What! leave so early? No!'
To mend the ghastly rent she'd made,
Three days she toiled, dear patient heart!
And I-right willingly I staid-
Lisette decreed we should not part!

No incense ever yet profaned
This honest, shiny warp of thine,
Nor hath a courtier's eye disdained
Thy faded hue and quaint design;
Let servile flattery be the price
Of ribbons in the royal mart-
A roadside posie shall suffice
For us two friends that must not part!

Fear not the recklessness of yore
Shall re-occur to vex thee now;
Alas, I am a youth no more-
I'm old and sere, and so art thou!
So bide with me unto the last
And with thy warmth caress this heart
That pleads, by memories of the Past,
That two such friends should never part!

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King Shall Hold Kingdom. (Anglo-Saxon Chronicles)

King shall hold kingdom. A castle is seen from afar,
artful work of giants yet on earth
wonderful wall-stone work. Wind is swiftest in sky,
thunder betimes most loud. Many are Christ's powers.
Wyrd is strongest. Winter is coldest,
Lent frostiest and longest cold,
summer sun-brightest, when sky is hottest,
and autumn most glorious, giving to men
the year's fruits which God sends.
Truth is clearest, treasure dearest,
gold to each man. The greyhair is wisest,
ancient in years, who has much endured.
Grief clings; clouds glide.
Young chief shall encourage good companions
in grim war and ring-giving.
Courage shall be in eorl, edge shall in battle
meet helm. Hawk shall on glove
stay wild. Wolf shall on hill
be lone. Boar shall dwell in holt
with great tusks. Good man shall in homeland
work judgement. Spear shall in hand
be gold-adorned. Gem shall in ring
stand broad and brilliant. Brook shall in wave
mingle with sea-flood. Mast shall in ship
swing sailyard. Sword shall lie on breast,
lordly iron. Dragon shall in barrow dwell
old, proud of his treasure. Fish shall in water
beget his kind. King shall bright ring
give in hall. Bear shall on heath
dwell old and dangerous, river come down
from hill flood-grey, armed force together
stand firm, victorious, good faith in eorl
and wisdom in man. Woods shall on earth
bloom with flowers, hill on plain
stand green. God shall be in heaven
the judge of deeds. Door shall on hall
be house's wide mouth. Boss on buckler
shall shield the fingers. Flying bird
shall soar in sky, salmon in pool
slide swiftly. Shower in heaven
mingled with wind shall come in this world.
Thief shall go in dark weather. Demon shall in fen
live alone inland. A lady shall with secret arts
seek her friend, if she would not be fulfilled
and brought in marriage with rings. Sea shall well with brine,
circling sky and wave be round all land,
mountain-streams course. Cattle shall on earth
conceive and bring forth. Star shall with dark,
army with army, enemy with another,
injury with injury oppose round the land,
accuse of wrong. Always the wise man
shall think on this world's contention, the criminal hang,
fairly repaid for wrongdoing
against mankind. The Maker alone knows
where the soul shall afterwards shift,
and all the ghosts who turned to God
after their deathday, awaiting their doom
in the Father's lap. The future
is locked and lightless. The Lord alone knows it,
saving Father. No one steps back
hither under roof who could reveal
truly to men the Maker's design,
the home of the triumphant, where He himself dwells.

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John Keats

King Stephen

SCENE I. Field of Battle.
Alarum. Enter King STEPHEN, Knights, and Soldiers.
Stephen. If shame can on a soldier's vein-swoll’n front
Spread deeper crimson than the battle's toil,
Blush in your casing helmets! for see, see!
Yonder my chivalry, my pride of war,
Wrench'd with an iron hand from firm array,
Are routed loose about the plashy meads,
Of honour forfeit. O that my known voice
Could reach your dastard ears, and fright you more!
Fly, cowards, fly! Glocester is at your backs!
Throw your slack bridles o'er the flurried manes,
Ply well the rowel with faint trembling heels,
Scampering to death at last!
First Knight. The enemy
Bears his flaunt standard close upon their rear.
Second Knight. Sure of a bloody prey, seeing the fens
Will swamp them girth-deep.
Stephen. Over head and ears,
No matter! 'Tis a gallant enemy;
How like a comet he goes streaming on.
But we must plague him in the flank, hey, friends?
We are well breathed, follow!
Enter Earl BALDWIN and Soldiers, as defeated.
Stephen. De Redvers!
What is the monstrous bugbear that can fright
Baldwin. No scare-crow, but the fortunate star
Of boisterous Chester, whose fell truncheon now
Points level to the goal of victory.
This way he comes, and if you would maintain
Your person unaffronted by vile odds,

Take horse, my Lord.
Stephen. And which way spur for life?
Now I thank Heaven I am in the toils,
That soldiers may bear witness how my arm
Can burst the meshes. Not the eagle more
Loves to beat up against a tyrannous blast,
Than I to meet the torrent of my foes.
This is a brag, be 't so, but if I fall,
Carve it upon my 'scutcheon'd sepulchre.
On, fellow soldiers! Earl of Redvers, back!
Not twenty Earls of Chester shall brow-beat
The diadem. [Exeunt. Alarum.

SCENE II. Another part of the Field.
Trumpets sounding a Victory. Enter GLOCESTER. Knights, and Forces.
Glocester. Now may we lift our bruised vizors up,
And take the flattering freshness of the air,
While the wide din of battle dies away
Into times past, yet to be echoed sure
In the silent pages of our chroniclers.
First Knight. Will Stephen's death be marked there, my good
Or that we gave him lodging in yon towers?
Glocester. Fain would I know the great usurper's fate.
Enter two Captains severally.
First Captain. My Lord!
Second Captain. Most noble Earl!
First Captain. The King
Second Captain. The Empress greets
Glocester. What of the King?
First Captain. He sole and lone maintains
A hopeless bustle mid our swarming arms,
And with a nimble savageness attacks,
Escapes, makes fiercer onset, then anew
Eludes death, giving death to most that dare
Trespass within the circuit of his sword!
He must by this have fallen. Baldwin is taken;
And for the Duke of Bretagne, like a stag
He flies, for the Welsh beagles to hunt down.
God save the Empress!
Glocester. Now our dreaded Queen:
What message from her Highness?
Second Captain. Royal Maud
From the throng'd towers of Lincoln hath look'd down,
Like Pallas from the walls of Ilion,
And seen her enemies havock'd at her feet.
She greets most noble Glocester from her heart,
Intreating him, his captains, and brave knights,
To grace a banquet. The high city gates
Are envious which shall see your triumph pass;
The streets are full of music.
Enter Second Knight.
Glocester. Whence come you?
Second Knight. From Stephen, my good Prince, Stephen!
Glocester. Why do you make such echoing of his name?
Second Knight. Because I think, my lord, he is no man,
But a fierce demon, Anointed safe from wounds,
And misbaptized with a Christian name.
Glocester. A mighty soldier! Does he still hold out?
Second Knight. He shames our victory. His valour still
Keeps elbow-room amid our eager swords,
And holds our bladed falchions all aloof
His gleaming battle-axe being slaughter-sick,
Smote on the morion of a Flemish knight,
Broke short in his hand; upon the which he flung
The heft away with such a vengeful force,

It paunch'd the Earl of Chester's horse, who then
Spleen-hearted came in full career at him.
Glocester. Did no one take him at a vantage then?
Second Knight. Three then with tiger leap upon him flew,
Whom, with his sword swift-drawn and nimbly held,
He stung away again, and stood to breathe,
Smiling. Anon upon him rush'd once more
A throng of foes, and in this renew'd strife,
My sword met his and snapp'd off at the hilts.
Glocester. Come, lead me to this Mars and let us move
In silence, not insulting his sad doom
With clamorous trumpets. To the Empress bear
My salutation as befits the time.
[Exeunt GLOCESTER and Forces.

SCENE III. The Field of Battle. Enter STEPHEN unarmed.
Stephen. Another sword! And what if I could seize
One from Bellona's gleaming armoury,
Or choose the fairest of her sheaved spears!
Where are my enemies? Here, close at hand,
Here come the testy brood. O for a sword!
I'm faint a biting sword! A noble sword!
A hedge-stake or a ponderous stone to hurl
With brawny vengeance, like the labourer Cain.
Come on! Farewell my kingdom, and all hail
Thou superb, plum'd, and helmeted renown,
All hail I would not truck this brilliant day
To rule in Pylos with a Nestor's beard
Come on!
Enter DE KAIMS and Knights, &c.
De Kaims. Is 't madness, or a hunger after death,
That makes thee thus unarm'd throw taunts at us?
Yield, Stephen, or my sword's point dip in
'he gloomy current of a traitor's heart.
Stephen. Do it, De Kaims, I will not budge an inch.
De Kaims. Yes, of thy madness thou shalt take the meed.
Stephen. Darest thou?
De Kaims. How dare, against a man disarmed?
Stephen. What weapons has the lion but himself?
Come not near me, De Kaims, for by the price
Of all the glory I have won this day,
Being a king, I will not yield alive
To any but the second man of the realm,
Robert of Glocester.
De Kaims. Thou shalt vail to me.
Stephen. Shall I, when I have sworn against it, sir?
Thou think'st it brave to take a breathing king,
That, on a court-day bow'd to haughty Maud,
The awed presence-chamber may be bold
To whisper, there's the man who took alive
Stephen me prisoner. Certes, De Kaims,
The ambition is a noble one.
De Kaims. 'Tis true,
And, Stephen, I must compass it.
Stephen. No, no,
Do not tempt me to throttle you on the gorge,
Or with my gauntlet crush your hollow breast,
Just when your knighthood is grown ripe and full
For lordship.
A Soldier. Is an honest yeoman's spear
Of no use at a need? Take that.
Stephen. Ah, dastard!
De Kaims. What, you are vulnerable! my prisoner I
Stephen. No, not yet. I disclaim it, and demand
Death as a sovereign right unto a king
Who 'sdains to yield to any but his peer,
If not in title, yet in noble deeds,
The Earl of Glocester. Stab to the hilts, De Kaims,
For I will never by mean hands be led
From this so famous field. Do ye hear! Be quick!
[Trumpets. Enter the Earl of CHESTER and Knights.

SCENE IV. A Presence Chamber. Queen MAUD in a Chair of State, the
Earls of GLOCESTER and CHESTER, Lords, Attendants.
Maud. Glocester, no more: I will behold that Boulogne:
Set him before me. Not for the poor sake
Of regal pomp and a vain-glorious hour,
As thou with wary speech, yet near enough,
Hast hinted.
Glocester. Faithful counsel have I given ;
If wary, for your Highness' benefit.
Maud. The Heavens forbid that I should not think so,
For by thy valour have I won this realm,
Which by thy wisdom I will ever keep.
To sage advisers let me ever bend
'A meek attentive ear, so that they treat
Of the wide kingdom's rule and government,
Not trenching on our actions personal.
Advis'd, not school'd, I would be; and henceforth
Spoken to in clear, plain, and open terms,
Not side-ways sermon'd at.
Glocester. Then, in plain terms,
Once more for the fallen king
Maud. Your pardon, Brother,
I would no more of that; for, as I said,
‘Tis not for worldly pomp I wish to see
The rebel, but as dooming judge to give
A sentence something worthy of his guilt.
Glocester. If 't must be so, I'll bring him to your presence.
Maud. A meaner summoner might do as well
My Lord of Chester, is 't true what I hear
Of Stephen of Boulogne, our prisoner,
That he, as a fit penance for his crimes,
Eats wholesome, sweet, and palatable food
Off Glocester's golden dishes drinks pure wine,
Lodgest soft?
Chester. More than that, my gracious Queen,
Has anger'd me. The noble Earl, methinks,
Full soldier as he is, and without peer
In counsel, dreams too much among his books.
It may read well, but sure 'tis out of date
To play the Alexander with Darius.
Maud. Truth! I think so. By Heavens it shall not last!
Chester. It would amaze your Highness now to mark
How Glocester overstrains his courtesy
To that crime-loving rebel, that Boulogne
Maud. That ingrate!
Chester. For whose vast ingratitude
To our late sovereign lord, your noble sire,
The generous Earl condoles in his mishaps,
And with a sort of lackeying friendliness,
Talks off the mighty frowning from his brow,
Woos him to hold a duet in a smile,
Or, if it please him, play an hour at chess
Maud. A perjured slave!
Chester. And for his perjury,
Glocester has fit rewards nay, I believe,
He sets his bustling household's wits at work
For flatteries to ease this Stephen's hours,
And make a heaven of his purgatory ;

Adorning bondage with the pleasant gloss
Of feasts and music, and all idle shows
Of indoor pageantry; while syren whispers,
Predestined for his ear, 'scape as half-check'd
From lips the courtliest and the rubiest
Of all the realm, admiring of his deeds.
Maud. A frost upon his summer!
Chester. A queen's nod
Can make his June December. Here he comes

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The Tragedy Of Hamlet, Prince Of Denmark!

I write with sorrow -real and stark-
'The Tragedy Of Hamlet Prince Of Denmark'

Like Othello, The Tempest and king Lear
It's a marvel by the pen of Shakespeare

Who paints the perils of his life...
Stretched by caution, crushed by strife

He cries for the matters of the Prince
Laden with sorrows, full of sufferings

Caused by the death of Hamlet, the king
Whose love was the song he used to sing.

His mother, the queen named Gertrude
Was frail n fickle but not so rude...

Again she married Claudius, the rake,
Her brother-in-law for passions sake;

Began new life with joys and rest
Which was for all a damned incest...

Black robe clad young Hamlet alone
Was tense for the honor of Danish throne.

His mourning thoughts eclipsed his looks
Fondness for books n sports forsook...

Being in grief he lost his mirth-
Lost the pleasures touching his worth

A horrid rumour reached his ears,
shook his mind, enhanced his fears

Based on a report of three sentinels
That a ghost appeared from flames of hell

Resembling the warring late Monarch
Who fought Fortinbras, an enemy of Denmark.

No sooner he heard about this wonder
decided to watch it despite the thunder.

With guards he reached the post n then
The clock struck one and shocked the men

The ghost then appeared, beckoned the son
Who trod ahead and left everyone...

He followed it in fondness and fear
in a really tough and tense atmosphere

The heaven and earth did try to observe
His limbs as hardy as Nemean lion's nerve.

At once the Ghost disclosed with frown
That Claudius killed him for his crown

By pouring potion his life he stole
Then Queen and throne gained as goal.

So slept the king by the brother's hand
And left forever this mortal land

For the Queen he said, 'despite her dodge
Leave her to thorns, in her bosom lodge.'

After narrating the murder so foul
The Ghost, in pain, began to howl

Demanded from him revenge of the act
If he had, by nature, a gut to react

The Prince, then, tried to check his might
Found himself as unable to fight

Lacking stimulus to take revenge
His teeth and fists, he used to clench

At last decided in utter sadness
To leave his rest by putting on madness

Wished he hadn't been born at all
To set things right whether big or small.

Now rise the curtains in room of Polonius
The state's counselor, old and loquacious

Beside a son, he had one daughter
Whose love for Hamlet, he used to slaughter

Possessing a heart precious as pearls
Fair she was of all Shakespeare's girls

Like gorgeous Perdita, but unlike Cordelia
Submissive she was -the fair Ophelia

Reported she once to her father with fear
About the Prince's odd behavior

Who strangely came in her private closet
With sleeves inside out, eyes out of sockets

Made with sighs some painful sounds
cast a glance so piteous, so profound

Her heart bled at this odd view
But the old man found another clue

He termed it as an ecstasy of love
In stature though Hamlet was far above

He thought it fit to tell the king
that the Prince was out of reason's ring

He took her hand and left the room
To put his daughter's fate in gloom.

Right away he went to the Danish court
To tell the royal pair of this report

In short they decided to secretly spy
And used his daughter as a decoy

But Hamlet was a sane insane
He understood their efforts vain.

Maltreated her despite his love
Though knew her well as pretty dove.

By manner changed, he broke her heart
Like actor's good, he played his part.

Ophelia was compelled to think
Of their past love and worthy link.

So cautious then young Hamlet was
Of Guidenstern and Rosencrantz;

'Cause they were sent to check his mind
By the Queen and king seemingly kind

They felt themselves so much helpless
Bent their heads and did confess.

Then Hamlet said to them, 'on earth
I know not where I lost my mirth.'

For cure of mental grievous layers
The Prince was told of city players.

He keenly took interest in them
With open arms he bade welcome.

The players had prospects shining bright
In whom he used to take delight

Requested he to an actor boy
To recite the tragedy of the king of Troy.

That passage was a fiery one
Impressive was its tragic tone

The scene incited him to think
Of Hecuba and the player's link.

If he had his pains and fears
he'd have drowned stage with tears.

For making Claudius his only prey
The prince conceived a plan to play

Based on one Gonzago's life,
Stung by treachery of his wife

Just to avoid certain mishap
He named it as a mousetrap.

The play was the only pregnant thing
To read the mind of the guilty king.

Now Guildenstern informed the king
That he didn't notice anything

And could not find any proof
Because with a craft he kept aloof

Asked the Queen with motherly passion:
'Did he talk in a normal fashion? '

The servants of the royal court
Replied and gave that new report:

'To stage a play the Prince intends,
Invites your grace with all your friends

To watch the play arranged by him'
(In fact to be really caught by him.)

The king replied with a cunning art
That he would go with 'all his heart.'

With all the lords he left the scene
Along with the pretty foolish Queen.

Now Hamlet appeared on the stage
With a tinge of sorrow and of rage

He knew not whether to live or die
His mental state had gone awry.

While he was lost in painful thought
Then all his gifts Ophelia brought

Tried to give them back to him
With teeming eyes and voice so dim

She said that, 'for to the noble mind
Gifts lose worth if giver is unkind.'

The genius prince advised the girl
That 'honesty is like a pearl

So save your pearl and be a nun
Leave this world and everyone.'

With changing tone he said at once:
'Not now but I did love you once.'

The girl in her excess of grief...
lost her comforts and relief...

Recalled with pain his state of mind
So fair and fine, so nice and kind

She thought of Hamlet's wretched tone
That a noble mind was overthrown

Who, once, was a flower of the state
The glass of grace and finer taste

But he had lost his wisdom's range
She sobbed and wept over this change

Then entered the king with crafty men
And hurriedly disclosed his plan.......

To send the Prince in stark exile
By art, by force or by some guile.

Now Hamlet had the only way,
To check the king, he staged a play

The scenes, in fact, did resemble
His father's murder by his uncle

The players did enact on the stage
At which the king expressed his rage

He left the hall with temper lost
with shivering heart and senses frost

The play removed his outer layers
And credit went to all the players

There wasn't anything to hide
Hamlet was quite satisfied...

His heart and conscience had no fear
The great confusion was now clear

He got a message from the Queen
Who was under impact of spleen

Meanwhile came the king so stern
With Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Ordered them to leave the land
With Hamlet and a dispatch by hand

They promised and then left the king
With aching heart and eyes running

When the king was left alone there
In melancholic atmosphere

His conscience started pricking him
In prayers he tried to utter a hymn

His prayers were full of confession
With no prospects of his salvation

So bad and foul was his offense
He found no shield for his defense

His sin was foul as black as death
He prayed to God with broken breath

When Hamlet saw him lost in prayers
Thought of his incestuous pleasures

He thought, 'I 'll kill him for his crime
That would be much better time

While he would be asleep or drunk
Or in rage he would be sunk....'

While thinking this, his flaw subdued,
Delayed his act, and left the lewd;

Proceeded to his Mother's chamber
To speak bitter words like dagger

Present was Polonius there.........
Of his fate quite unaware..............

Hid himself behind the curtain
Neither life nor death was certain.

Hamlet called her not his mother
but loving wife of husband's brother.

His rashness caused her louder shriek
Harassed the Queen as a freak

Severely tried to show her a glass
The Man was shocked behind the arras

That voice raised in him a storm
He stabbed at where the cry came from

The man (behind) , cried again
In painful voice, 'O, I am slain.'

So justly killed was the king's friend
And act of spying became his end.

Hamlet's thoughts were not sinister
But he became his scourge n minister

By dagger words he op'd her eyes
His wretched voice shook the skies

Convinced her, and disclosed atlast
He wasn't mad 'but mad in craft.'

He told her in his accent flat:
'I must to England, you know that? '

He painfully this news revealed
That letters of the king were sealed

Then dragged the body of the man
In grief there did Queen remain...

She told the king of 'the heavy deed, '
So then he started taking heed..........

He said, 'I see it writ on wall...
His life is full of threats to all.'

By ready hands at once he wrote
To the king of England a cunning note

Touching Hamlet's present death
Till then he wont take joyous breath.

For those who know Shakespeare's art
This story has another part..............

Young Fortinbras came there at last
For Hamlet served a big contrast.

That tender Prince, a man of mission
Was burned by fire of great ambition

Without any reason-big and sound
Went to Poland for a patch of ground;

Suffering from the thirst for fame
Not profit but for the sake of name.

This act opened Hamlet's eyes
The hidden flames began to rise.

He thought then that, 'from this time forth
My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.'

A gentleman informed Gertrude
About Ophelia's madness as a fruit

Of her father's sad demise;
Entered she with half-shut eyes.

Nobody there could bear so long
The grief reflected from her songs.

A noise was heard from outside the hall
Which confused every big and small.

The mob was crying against the king
By, 'Laertes shall be the Danish king.'

Laertes full of fiery passions...........
Ordered them to have patience

Entered with full zest and wrath
From the mouth flowed angry froth

Blamed the king for the father's murder
Spoke to him with a mighty thunder.

The vile king was good at game
Laertes, by him, was easily tamed

By cunning words turned all attention
Towards Hamlet moved his tension.

Hamlet, who was sent to England,
by chance couldn't reach that land.

Piracy -an ugly, criminal act,
Became for him a lucky fact.

He left his ship to fight with pirates
His 'fellows'unknowingly then left.

He got saved from being killed
By king of England 'against his will.

England killed on orders stern
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-

On fortunes favors who can depend?
By hands of justice, they met their end.

He told it all to Horatio-his friend
That there's a power that shapes our ends.

On the death of both these men
He said that life is like to say 'one'.

Then, Dear Readers! towards his goal
Started moving his ' prophetic soul.'

Claudius made, then, a plan to snatch
His life, he arranged a fencing match-

Sent his message by a courtier
To prepare his dagger and rapier.

Clear of guilt, the Prince at ease
Accept the challenge by Laertes.

A scheme there is in a sparrow's fall
So 'on my part, the readiness is all.'

Prepared were table, trumpets, drums-
Claudius called, 'come, Hamlet, come.'

Fencing match was a scheme in fact
In which he used then all his tact.

He really poisoned Laertes ' mind
with revengeful thoughts bloody n unkind

Hamlet spoke, ere the fight began
To laertes, 'you are a gentleman

I've done you wrong but not in rudeness
I tell you that it was my madness.'

With these words, prepared to play
There death started a game to play

Laertes struck with poisoned weapon
None could understand what happened.

He himself was wounded badly -
Thought that he was killed but justly.

Envenomed drink was also there
Which was drunk by his Mother.

All that happened for no reason
All were crying, 'treason, treason'

Hamlet, wounded, thought to avenge
killed the king and took revenge.

He cried, 'incestuous, murderous Dane!
Fall! but never to rise again...............'

Alas! he saw that sergeant Death
Had come to take his last breath..

He felt that passed the Golden moments,
'the Time is up, the rest is silence.'

Cease my pen! don't speak of glory
who can dare to read his story?

An unjust act, a foul practice-
Revenge, O Prince! is a wild justice.

With all my heart, I remember you
Would you believe that I LOVE YOU...? ? ?

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John Dryden

Threnodia Augustalis: A Funeral Pindaric Poem, Sacred To The Happy Memory Of King Charles II.

Thus long my grief has kept me dumb:
Sure there's a lethargy in mighty woe,
Tears stand congealed, and cannot flow;
And the sad soul retires into her inmost room:
Tears, for a stroke foreseen, afford relief;
But, unprovided for a sudden blow,
Like Niobe, we marble grow,
And petrify with grief.
Our British heaven was all serene,
No threatening cloud was nigh,
Not the least wrinkle to deform the sky;
We lived as unconcerned and happily
As the first age in nature's golden scene;
Supine amidst our flowing store,
We slept securely, and we dreamt of more;
When suddenly the thunder-clap was heard,
It took us, unprepared, and out of guard,
Already lost before we feared.
The amazing news of Charles at once were spread,
At once the general voice declared,
“Our gracious prince was dead.”
No sickness known before, no slow disease,
To soften grief by just degrees;
But, like a hurricane on Indian seas,
The tempest rose;
An unexpected burst of woes.
With scarce a breathing space betwixt,
This now becalmed, and perishing the next.
As if great Atlas from his height
Should sink beneath his heavenly weight,
And, with a mighty flaw, the flaming wall,
As once it shall,
Should gape immense, and, rushing down, o'erwhelm this nether ball;
So swift and so surprising was our fear:
Our Atlas fell indeed; but Hercules was near.

His pious brother, sure the best
Who ever bore that name,
Was newly risen from his rest,
And, with a fervent flame,
His usual morning vows had just addressed,
For his dear sovereign's health;
And hoped to have them heard,
In long increase of years,
In honour, fame, and wealth:
Guiltless of greatness, thus he always prayed,
Nor knew nor wished those vows he made,
On his own head should be repaid.
Soon as the ill-omen'd rumour reached his ear,
(Ill news is winged with fate, and flies apace),
Who can describe the amazement in his face!
Horror in all his pomp was there,
Mute and magnificent, without a tear;
And then the hero first was seen to fear.
Half unarrayed he ran to his relief,
So hasty and so artless was his grief:
Approaching greatness met him with her charms
Of power and future state;
But looked so ghastly in a brother's fate,
He shook her from his arms.
Arrived within the mournful room, he saw
A wild distraction, void of awe,
And arbitrary grief unbounded by a law.
God's image, God's anointed, lay
Without motion, pulse, or breath,
A senseless lump of sacred clay,
An image now of death,
Amidst his sad attendants' groans and cries,
The lines of that adored forgiving face,
Distorted from their native grace;
An iron slumber sat on his majestic eyes.
The pious duke—Forbear, audacious muse!
No terms thy feeble art can use
Are able to adorn so vast a woe:
The grief of all the rest like subject-grief did show
His, like a sovereign's, did transcend;
No wife, no brother, such a grief could know,
Nor any name but friend.

O wondrous changes of a fatal scene,
Still varying to the last!
Heaven, though its hard decree was past,
Seemed pointing to a gracious turn again:
And death's uplifted arm arrested in its haste.
Heaven half repented of the doom,
And almost grieved it had foreseen,
What by foresight it willed eternally to come.
Mercy above did hourly plead
For her resemblance here below;
And mild forgiveness intercede
To stop the coming blow.
New miracles approached the ethereal throne,
Such as his wondrous life had oft and lately known,
And urged that still they might be shown.
On earth his pious brother prayed and vowed,
Renouncing greatness at so dear a rate,
Himself defending what he could,
From all the glories of his future fate.
With him the innumerable crowd
Of armed prayers
Knocked at the gates of heaven, and knocked aloud;
The first well-meaning rude petitioners.
All for his life assailed the throne,
All would have bribed the skies by offering up their own.
So great a throng, not heaven itself could bar;
'Twas almost borne by force, as in the giants' war.
The prayers, at least, for his reprieve were heard;
His death, like Hezekiah's, was deferred:
Against the sun the shadow went;
Five days, those five degrees, were lent,
To form our patience, and prepare the event.
The second causes took the swift command,
The medicinal head, the ready hand,
All eager to perform their part;
All but eternal doom was conquered by their art:
Once more the fleeting soul came back
To inspire the mortal frame;
And in the body took a doubtful stand,
Doubtful and hovering, like expiring flame,
That mounts and falls by turns, and trembles o'er the brand.

The joyful short-lived news soon spread around,
Took the same train, the same impetuous bound:
The drooping town in smiles again was drest,
Gladness in every face exprest,
Their eyes before their tongues confest.
Men met each other with erected look,
The steps were higher that they took;
Friends to congratulate their friends made haste,
And long inveterate foes saluted as they passed.
Above the rest heroic James appeared,
Exalted more, because he more had feared.
His manly heart, whose noble pride
Was still above
Dissembled hate, or varnished love,
Its more than common transport could not hide;
But like an eagre rode in triumph o'er the tide.
Thus, in alternate course,
The tyrant passions, hope and fear,
Did in extremes appear,
And flashed upon the soul with equal force.
Thus, at half ebb, a rolling sea
Returns, and wins upon the shore;
The watery herd, affrighted at the roar,
Rest on their fins awhile, and stay,
Then backward take their wondering way:
The prophet wonders more than they,
At prodigies but rarely seen before,
And cries,—“A king must fall, or kingdoms change their sway.”
Such were our counter-tides at land, and so
Presaging of the fatal blow,
In their prodigious ebb and flow.
The royal soul, that, like the labouring moon,
By charms of art was hurried down,
Forced with regret to leave her native sphere,
Came but a while on liking here,
Soon weary of the painful strife,
And made but faint essays of life:
An evening light
Soon shut in night;
A strong distemper, and a weak relief,
Short intervals of joy, and long returns of grief.

The sons of art all med'cines tried,
And every noble remedy applied;
With emulation each essayed
His utmost skill; nay, more, they prayed:
Never was losing game with better conduct played.
Death never won a stake with greater toil,
Nor e'er was fate so near a foil:
But, like a fortress on a rock,
The impregnable disease their vain attempts did mock;
They mined it near, they battered from afar
With all the cannon of the medicinal war;
No gentle means could be essayed,
'Twas beyond parley when the siege was laid.
The extremest ways they first ordain,
Prescribing such intolerable pain,
As none but Cæsar could sustain:
Undaunted Cæsar underwent
The malice of their art, nor bent
Beneath whate'er their pious rigour could invent.
In five such days he suffered more
Than any suffered in his reign before;
More, infinitely more, than he
Against the worst of rebels could decree,
A traitor, or twice pardoned enemy.
Now art was tired without success,
No racks could make the stubborn malady confess.
The vain insurancers of life,
And he who most performed, and promised less,
Even Short himself, forsook the unequal strife.
Death and despair was in their looks,
No longer they consult their memories or books;
Like helpless friends, who view from shore
The labouring ship, and hear the tempest roar;
So stood they with their arms across,
Not to assist, but to deplore
The inevitable loss.

Death was denounced; that frightful sound
Which even the best can hardly bear;
He took the summons void of fear,
And unconcernedly cast his eyes around,
As if to find and dare the grisly challenger.
What death could do he lately tried,
When in four days he more than died.
The same assurance all his words did grace;
The same majestic mildness held its place;
Nor lost the monarch in his dying face.
Intrepid, pious, merciful, and brave,
He looked as when he conquered and forgave.

As if some angel had been sent
To lengthen out his government,
And to foretell as many years again,
As he had numbered in his happy reign;
So cheerfully he took the doom
Of his departing breath,
Nor shrunk nor stept aside for death;
But, with unaltered pace, kept on,
Providing for events to come,
When he resigned the throne.
Still he maintained his kingly state,
And grew familiar with his fate.
Kind, good, and gracious, to the last,
On all he loved before his dying beams he cast:
Oh truly good, and truly great,
For glorious as he rose, benignly so he set!
All that on earth he held most dear,
He recommended to his care,
To whom both heaven
The right had given,
And his own love bequeathed supreme command:
He took and prest that ever-loyal hand,
Which could, in peace, secure his reign;
Which could, in wars, his power maintain;
That hand on which no plighted vows were ever vain.
Well, for so great a trust, he chose
A prince, who never disobeyed;
Not when the most severe commands were laid;
Nor want, nor exile, with his duty weighed:
A prince on whom, if heaven its eyes could close,
The welfare of the world it safely might repose.

That king, who lived to God's own heart,
Yet less serenely died than he;
Charles left behind no harsh decree,
For schoolmen with laborious art,
To salve from cruelty:
Those, for whom love could no excuses frame,
He graciously forgot to name.
Thus far my muse, though rudely, has designed
Some faint resemblance of his godlike mind;
But neither pen nor pencil can express
The parting brothers' tenderness;
Though that's a term too mean and low;
The blest above a kinder word may know:
But what they did, and what they said,
The monarch who triumphant went,
The militant who staid,
Like painters, when their heightening arts are spent,
I cast into a shade.
That all-forgiving king,
The type of him above,
That inexhausted spring
Of clemency and love,
Himself to his next self accused,
And asked that pardon which he ne'er refused;
For faults not his, for guilt and crimes
Of godless men, and of rebellious times;
For an hard exile, kindly meant,
When his ungrateful country sent
Their best Camillus into banishment,
And forced their sovereign's act, they could not his consent.
Oh how much rather had that injured chief
Repeated all his sufferings past,
Than hear a pardon begged at last,
Which, given, could give the dying no relief!
He bent, he sunk beneath his grief;
His dauntless heart would fain have held
From weeping, but his eyes rebelled.
Perhaps the godlike hero, in his breast,
Disdained, or was ashamed to show,
So weak, so womanish a woe,
Which yet the brother and the friend so plenteously confest.

Amidst that silent shower, the royal mind
An easy passage found,
And left its sacred earth behind;
Nor murmuring groan expressed, nor labouring sound,
Nor any least tumultuous breath;
Calm was his life, and quiet was his death.
Soft as those gentle whispers were,
In which the Almighty did appear;
By the still voice the prophet knew him there.
That peace which made thy prosperous reign to shine,
That peace thou leav'st to thy imperial line,
That peace, Oh happy shade, be ever thine!

For all those joys thy restoration brought,
For all the miracles it wrought,
For all the healing balm thy mercy poured
Into the nation's bleeding wound,
And care, that after kept it sound,
For numerous blessings yearly showered,
And property with plenty crowned;
For freedom, still maintained alive,
Freedom, which in no other land will thrive,
Freedom, an English subject's sole prerogative,
Without whose charms, even peace would be
But a dull quiet slavery;—
For these, and more, accept our pious praise;
'Tis all the subsidy
The present age can raise,
The rest is charged on late posterity.
Posterity is charged the more,
Because the large abounding store
To them, and to their heirs, is still entailed by thee.
Succession of a long descent,
Which chastely in the channels ran,
And from our demi-gods began,
Equal almost to time in its extent,
Through hazards numberless and great,
Thou hast derived this mighty blessing down,
And fixed the fairest gem that decks the imperial crown:
Not faction, when it shook thy regal seat,
Not senates, insolently loud,
Those echoes of a thoughtless crowd,
Not foreign or domestic treachery,
Could warp thy soul to their unjust decree.
So much thy foes thy manly mind mistook,
Who judged it by the mildness of thy look;
Like a well-tempered sword, it bent at will,
But kept the native toughness of the steel.

Be true, O Clio, to thy hero's name;
But draw him strictly so,
That all who view the piece may know,
He needs no trappings of fictitious fame.
The load's too weighty; thou may'st choose
Some parts of praise, and some refuse;
Write, that his annals may be thought more lavish than the muse.
In scanty truth thou hast confined
The virtues of a royal mind,
Forgiving, bounteous, humble, just, and kind:
His conversation, wit, and parts,
His knowledge in the noblest useful arts,
Were such, dead authors could not give;
But habitudes of those who live,
Who, lighting him, did greater lights receive:
He drained from all, and all they knew;
His apprehension quick, his judgment true,
That the most learned, with shame, confess
His knowledge more, his reading only less.

Amidst the peaceful triumphs of his reign,
What wonder, if the kingly beams he shed
Revived the drooping arts again,
If science raised her head,
And soft humanity, that from rebellion fled.
Our isle, indeed, too fruitful was before;
But all uncultivated lay
Out of the solar walk, and heaven's high way;
With rank Geneva weeds run o'er,
And cockle, at the best, amidst the corn it bore:
The royal husbandman appeared,
And ploughed, and sowed, and tilled;
The thorns he rooted out, the rubbish cleared,
And blest the obedient field.
When straight a double harvest rose,
Such as the swarthy Indian mows,
Or happier climates near the Line,
Or paradise manured, and drest by hands divine.

As when the new-born phœnix takes his way,
His rich paternal regions to survey,
Of airy choristers a numerous train
Attend his wondrous progress o'er the plain;
So, rising from his father's urn,
So glorious did our Charles return;
The officious muses came along,
A gay harmonious quire, like angels ever young;
The muse, that mourns him now, his happy triumph sung.
Even they could thrive in his auspicious reign;
And such a plenteous crop they bore
Of purest and well-winnowed grain,
As Britain never knew before.
Though little was their hire, and light their gain,
Yet somewhat to their share he threw;
Fed from his hand, they sung and flew,
Like birds of paradise, that lived on morning dew.
Oh never let their lays his name forget!
The pension of a prince's praise is great.
Live then, thou great encourager of arts,
Live ever in our thankful hearts;
Live blest above, almost invoked below;
Live and receive this pious vow,
Our patron once, our guardian angel now!
Thou Fabius of a sinking state,
Who didst by wise delays divert our fate,
When faction like a tempest rose,
In death's most hideous form,
Then art to rage thou didst oppose,
To weather out the storm;
Not quitting thy supreme command,
Thou heldst the rudder with a steady hand,
Till safely on the shore the bark did land;
The bark, that all our blessings brought,
Charged with thyself and James, a doubly-royal fraught.

Oh frail estate of human things,
And slippery hopes below!
Now to our cost your emptiness we know;
For 'tis a lesson dearly bought,
Assurance here is never to be sought.
The best, and best beloved of kings,
And best deserving to be so,
When scarce he had escaped the fatal blow
Of faction and conspiracy,
Death did his promised hopes destroy;
He toiled, he gained, but lived not to enjoy.
What mists of Providence are these
Through which we cannot see!
So saints, by supernatural power set free,
Are left at last in martyrdom to die;
Such is the end of oft-repeated miracles.—
Forgive me, heaven, that impious thought,
'Twas grief for Charles, to madness wrought,
That questioned thy supreme decree!
Thou didst his gracious reign prolong,
Even in thy saints' and angels' wrong,
His fellow-citizens of immortality:
For twelve long years of exile borne,
Twice twelve we numbered since his blest return:
So strictly wert thou just to pay,
Even to the driblet of a day.
Yet still we murmur, and complain
The quails and manna should no longer rain:
Those miracles 'twas needless to renew;
The chosen flock has now the promised land in view.

A warlike prince ascends the regal state,
A prince long exercised by fate:
Long may he keep, though he obtains it late!
Heroes in heaven's peculiar mould are cast;
They, and their poets, are not formed in haste;
Man was the first in God's design, and man was made the last.
False heroes, made by flattery so,
Heaven can strike out, like sparkles, at a blow;
But ere a prince is to perfection brought,
He costs Omnipotence a second thought.
With toil and sweat,
With hardening cold, and forming heat,
The Cyclops did their strokes repeat,
Before the impenetrable shield was wrought.
It looks as if the Maker would not own
The noble work for his,
Before 'twas tried and found a master-piece.

View then a monarch ripened for a throne.
Alcides thus his race began,
O'er infancy he swiftly ran;
The future god at first was more than man:
Dangers and toils, and Juno's hate,
Even o'er his cradle lay in wait,
And there he grappled first with fate;
In his young hands the hissing snakes he prest,
So early was the Deity confest;
Thus, by degrees, he rose to Jove's imperial seat;
Thus difficulties prove a soul legitimately great.
Like his, our hero's infancy was tried;
Betimes the furies did their snakes provide,
And to his infant arms oppose
His father's rebels, and his brother's foes;
The more opprest, the higher still he rose.
Those were the preludes of his fate,
That formed his manhood, to subdue
The hydra of the many-headed hissing crew.

As after Numa's peaceful reign,
The martial Ancus did the sceptre wield,
Furbished the rusty sword again,
Resumed the long-forgotten shield,
And led the Latins to the dusty field;
So James the drowsy genius wakes
Of Britain long entranced in charms,
Restiff and slumbering on its arms;
'Tis roused, and, with a new-strung nerve, the spear already shakes.
No neighing of the warrior steeds,
No drum, or louder trumpet, needs
To inspire the coward, warm the cold;
His voice, his sole appearance, makes them bold.
Gaul and Batavia dread the impending blow;
Too well the vigour of that arm they know;
They lick the dust, and crouch beneath their fatal foe.
Long may they fear this awful prince,
And not provoke his lingering sword;
Peace is their only sure defence,
Their best security his word.
In all the changes of his doubtful state,
His truth, like heaven's, was kept inviolate;
For him to promise is to make it fate.
His valour can triumph o'er land and main;
With broken oaths his fame he will not stain;
With conquest basely bought, and with inglorious gain.

For once, O heaven, unfold thy adamantine book;
And let his wondering senate see,
If not thy firm immutable decree,
At least the second page of strong contingency,
Such as consists with wills, originally free.
Let them with glad amazement look
On what their happiness may be;
Let them not still be obstinately blind,
Still to divert the good thou hast designed,
Or, with malignant penury,
To starve the royal virtues of his mind.
Faith is a Christian's and a subject's test;
Oh give them to believe, and they are surely blest.
They do; and with a distant view I see
The amended vows of English loyalty;
And all beyond that object, there appears
The long retinue of a prosperous reign,
A series of successful years,
In orderly array, a martial, manly train.
Behold e'en the remoter shores,
A conquering navy proudly spread;
The British cannon formidably roars,
While, starting from his oozy bed,
The asserted Ocean rears his reverend head,
To view and recognise his ancient lord again;
And with a willing hand, restores
The fasces of the main.

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King of Storms

I am the Storm King,
hear my decree!
The heavens like vikings
shall storm all you see!
Watch the people flee.

I am the Storm King,
the floodgates shall open!
The rain is striking,
slaves driven down the Slope 'n
down to the sea.

I am the Storm King,
I have made my empire.
Hear my bow sing.
I will drown out your fire.

I am the Storm King,
and you shall be made to see.
It is not wise to be double-crossing.
I am the Storm King.
Hear my decree.

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News to the king, good news for all

'NEWS to the king, good news for all,'
The corn is trodden, the river runs red.
'News of the battle,' the heralds call,
'We have won the field; we have taken the town;
We have beaten the rebels and crushed them down.'
And the dying lie with the dead.

'Who was my bravest?' quoth the king,
The corn is trodden, the river runs red.
'Whom shall I honour for this great thing?'
'Threescore were best, where none were worst;
But Walter Wendulph was aye the first.'
And the dying lie with the dead.

'What of my husband?' quoth the bride,
The corn is trodden, the river runs red.
'Comes he to-morrow; how long will he bide?'
'Put off thy bridegear, busk thee in black;
Walter Wendulph will never come back.'
And the dying lie with the dead.

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Adventures of King Robert the Bruce

King Robert the Bruce's deadly enemy, John of Lorn,
Joined the English with eight hundred Highlanders one morn,
All strong, hardy, and active fearless mountaineers,
But Bruce's men attacked them with swords and spears.

And while they were engaged, a new enemy burst upon them,
Like a torrent of water rushing down a rocky glen:
It was John of Lorn and his Highlanders that came upon them,
So the tide of battle was too much for them to stem.

And with savage yells they made the valley ring,
Then made a long circuit, and stole in behind the King,
Whirling their broadswords and Lochaber axes left and right;
And the enemy being thrice their number, they relinquished the fight

Then to a certain house Bruce quickly hied,
And sitting by the door the housewife he spied;
And she asked him who he was, and he said, A wanderer,
Then she said, All wanderers are welcome here, kind sir.

Then the King said, Good dame, tell me the reason why,
How you respect all wanderers that chance to pass by,
And for whose sake you bear such favour to homeless men?
Then she said, King Robert the Bruce, if you want to ken,

The lawful King of this country, whom I hope to see;
Then the Bruce said, My good woman, your King stands before thee;
And she said, Ah! Sire, where are your men gone?
Then the King told her that he's come alone.

Then she said, Ah, my lawful King, this must not be,
For I have two stout sons, and they shall follow thee,
And fight to the death for your Majesty,
Aye, in faith, my good King, by land or sea.

Then she brought her sons before the King, and thus did say,
Now swear, my sons, to be true to your King without dismay;
Then they knelt and cried, Mother, we'll do as you desire,
We willingly will fight on behalf of our noble sire.

Who has been hunted like a felon by night and by day,
By foul plotters devising to take his life away;
But God will protect him in the midst of the strife,
And, mother dear, we'll fight for him during life.

Then the King said, Noble lads, it's you shall follow me,
And ye shall be near me by land or sea,
And for your loyalty towards me your mother I'll reward;
When all on a sudden the tramping of horses was heard.

Then the King heard voices he knew full well,
But what had fetched his friends there he couldn't tell;
'Twas Edward his brother and Lord Douglas, with one hundred and fifty men,
That had travelled far, to find their King, o'er mountain and glen.

And when they met they conversed on the events of the day,
Then the King unto them quickly did say,
If we knew where the enemy were, we would work them skaith;
Then Lord James said, I'll lead you where they are, by my faith.

Then they marched on the enemy just as the morning broke,
To a farm-house where they were lodged, and, with one bold stroke,
They, the Scots, rushed in and killed two-thirds of them dead;
And such was the life, alas! King Robert the Bruce led!

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King Claudius

My mind now moves to distant places.
I'm walking the streets of Elsinore,
through its squares, and I recall
the very sad story-
that unfortunate king
killed by his nephew
because of some fanciful suspicions.
In all the homes of the poor
he was mourned secretly
(they were afraid of Fortinbras).
A quiet, gentle man,
a man who loved peace
(his country had suffered much
from the wars of his predecessor),
he behaved graciously toward everyone,
humble and great alike.
Never high-handed, he always sought advice
in the kingdom's affairs
from serious, experienced people.
Just why his nephew killed him
was never actually explained.
The prince suspected him of murder,
and the basis of his suspicion was this:
walking one night along an ancient battlement
he thought he saw a ghost
and he had a conversation with this ghost;
what he supposedly heard from the ghost
were certain accusations against the king.
It must have been a fit of fancy,
an optical illusion
(the prince was nervous in the extreme;
while he was studying at Wittenberg,
many of his fellow students thought him a maniac).
A few days later he went
to his mother's room to discuss
certain family affairs. And suddenly,
while he was talking, he lost his self-control,
started shouting, screaming
that the ghost was there in front of him.
But his mother saw nothing at all.
And that same day, for no apparent reason,
he killed an old gentleman of the court.
Since the prince was due to sail for England
in a day or two,
the king hustled him off post-haste
in order to save him.
But the people were so outraged
by the monstrous murder
that rebels rose up
and tried to storm the palace gates,
led by the dead man's son,
the noble lord Laertes
(a brave young man, also ambitious;
in the confusion, some of his friends called out:
'Long live King Laertes!').
Later, once the kingdom had calmed down
and the king was lying in his grave-
he was killed by his nephew, the prince,
who never went to England
but escaped from the ship on his way there-
a certain Horatio came forward
and tried to exonerate the prince
by telling some stories of his own.
He said that the voyage to England
had been a secret plot, and orders
had been given to kill the prince there
(but this was never clearly ascertained).
He also spoke of poisoned wine-
wine poisoned by the king.
It's true that Laertes spoke of this too.
But couldn't he have been lying?
Couldn't he have been mistaken?
And when did he say all this?
While dying of his wounds, his mind reeling,
his talk seemingly delirious.
As for the poisoned weapons,
it was shown later that the poisoning
hadn't been done by the king at all:
Laertes himself had done it.
But Horatio, whenever pressed,
would produce even the ghost as a witness:
the ghost said this and that,
the ghost did this and that!
Because of all this, though letting Horatio talk,
most people in their hearts
pitied the poor king,
who, with all these ghosts and fairy tales,
was unjustly killed and disposed of.
Yet Fortinbras, who profited
by winning the throne so easily,
gave full attention and weight
to every word Horatio said.

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King John And The Abbot Of Canterbury

An ancient story Ile tell you anon
Of a notable prince, that was called King John;
And he ruled England with maine and with might,
For he did great wrong, and maintein'd little right.

And Ile tell you a story, a story so merrye,
Concerning the Abbot of Canterburye,
How for his house-keeping and high renowne,
They rode poste for him to fair London towne.

An hundred men, the king did heare say,
The abbot kept in his house every day;
And fifty golde chaynes, without any doubt,
In velvet coates waited the abbot about.

'How now, father abbot, I heare if of thee,
Thou keepest a farre better house than mee;
And for thy house-keeping and high renowne,
I feare thou work'st treason against my crown.'

'My liege,' quo' the abbot, 'I would it were knowne
I never spend nothing, but what is my owne;
And I trust your grace will doe me no deere,
For spending of my owne true-gotten geere.'

'Yes, yes, father abbot, thy fault is highe,
And now for the same thou needest must dye;
For except thou canst answer me questions three,
Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie.

'And first,' quo' the king, 'when I'm in this stead,
With my crowne of golde so faire on my head,
Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe,
Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worthe.

'Secondlye, tell me, without any doubt,
How soone I may ride the whole world about;
And at the third question thou must not shrink,
But tell me here truly what I do think.'

'O, these are hard questions for my shallow witt,
Nor I cannot answer your grace as yet:
But if you will give me but three weekes space,
Ile do my endeavour to answer your grace.'

'Now three weeks space to thee will I give,
And this is the longest time thou hast to live;
For if thou dost not answer my questions three,
Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to mee.'

Away rode the abbot all sad at that word,
And he rode to Cambridge, and Oxenford;
But never a doctor there was so wise,
That could with his learning an answer devise.

Then home rode the abbot of comfort so cold,
And he mett his shepheard a going to fold:
'How now, my lord abbot, you welcome home;
What newes do you bring us from good King John?'

'Sad newes, sad newes, shepeard, I must give,
That I must but three days more to live;
For if I do not answer him questions three,
My head will be smitten from my bodie.

'The first is to tell him there in that stead,
With his crowne of golde so fair on his head,
Among all his liege-men so noble of birth,
To within one penny of what he is worth.

'The seconde, to tell him, without any doubt,
How soone he may ride this whole world about;
And at the third question I must not shrinke,
But tell him there truly what he does thinke.'

'Now cheare up, sire abbot, did you never hear yet,
That a fool he may learn a wise man witt?
Lend me horse, and serving men, and your apparel,
And I'll ride to London to answere your quarrel.

'Nay frowne not, if it hath bin told unto mee,
I am like your lordship, as ever may bee;
And if you will but lend me your gowne,
There is none shall knowe us at fair London towne.'

'Now horses and serving-men thou shalt have,
With sumptuous array most gallant and brave,
With crozier, and miter, and rochet, and cope,
Fit to appeare 'fore our fader the pope.'

'Now, welcome, sire abbot,' the king he did say,
'Tis well thou'rt come back to keepe thy day:
For and if thou canst answer my questions three,
Thy life and thy living both saved shall bee.

'And first, when thou seest me here in this stead,
With my crown of golde so fair on my head,
Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe,
Tell me to one penny what I am worth.'

'For thirty pence our Saviour was sold
Amonge the false Jewes, as I have bin told:
And twenty-nine is the worth of thee,
For I thinke thou art one penny worser than hee.'

The king he laughed, and swore by St. Bittel,
'I did not think I had been worth so littel!
- Now secondly tell mee, without any doubt,
How soone I may ride this whole world about.'

'You must rise with the sun, and ride with the same,
Until the next morning he riseth againe;
And then your grace need not make any doubt
But in twenty-four hours you'll ride it about.'

The king he laughed, and swore by St. Jone,
'I did not think it could be gone so soone!
- Now from the third question thou must not shrinke,
But tell me here truly what I do thinke.'

'Yea, that shall I do, and make your grace merry;
You thinke I'm the Abbot of Canterbury;
But I'm this poor shepheard, as plain you may see,
That am come to bed pardon for him and for mee.'

The king he laughed, and swore by the masse,
'Ile make thee lord abbot this day in his place!'
'Now naye, my liege, be not in such speede,
For alacke I can neither write ne reade.'

'Four nobles a weeke, then, I will give thee,
For this merry jest thou hast showne unto mee;
And tell the old abbot when thou comest home,
Thou hast brought him a pardon from good King John.'

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To the King

[Upon His Majesty's Happy Return.]

The rising sun complies with our weak sight,
First gilds the clouds, then shows his globe of light
At such a distance from our eyes, as though
He knew what harm his hasty beams would do.

But your full majesty at once breaks forth
In the meridian of your reign. Your worth,
Your youth, and all the splendour of your state,
(Wrapped up, till now, in clouds of adverse fate!)
With such a flood of light invade our eyes,
And our spread hearts with so great joy surprise,
That if your grace incline that we should live,
You must not, sir! too hastily forgive.
Our guilt preserves us from the excess of joy,
Which scatters spirits, and would life destroy.
All are obnoxious! and this faulty land,
Like fainting Esther, does before you stand,
Watching your sceptre. The revolted sea
Trembles to think she did your foes obey.

Great Britain, like blind Polypheme, of late,
In a wild rage, became the scorn and hate
Of her proud neighbours, who began to think
She, with the weight of her own force, would sink.
But you are come, and all their hopes are vain;
This giant isle has got her eye again.
Now she might spare the ocean, and oppose
Your conduct to the fiercest of her foes.
Naked, the Graces guarded you from all
Dangers abroad; and now your thunder shall.
Princes that saw you, different passions prove,
For now they dread the object of their love;
Nor without envy can behold his height,
Whose conversation was their late delight.
So Semele, contented with the rape
Of Jove disguised in a mortal shape,
When she beheld his hands with lightning filled,
And his bright rays, was with amazement killed.

And though it be our sorrow, and our crime,
To have accepted life so long a time
Without you here, yet does this absence gain
No small advantage to your present reign;
For, having viewed the persons and the things,
The councils, state, and strength of Europe's kings,
You know your work; ambition to restrain,
And set them bounds, as Heaven does to the main.
We have you now with ruling wisdom fraught,
Not such as books, but such as practice, taught.
So the lost sun, while least by us enjoyed,
Is the whole night for our concern employed;
He ripens spices, fruits, and precious gums,
Which from remotest regions hither comes.

This seat of yours (from the other world removed)
Had Archimedes known, he might have proved
His engine's force fixed here. Your power and skill
Make the world's motion wait upon your will.

Much suffering monarch! the first English born
That has the crown of these three nations worn!
How has your patience, with the barbarous rage
Of your own soil, contended half an age?
Till (your tried virtue, and your sacred word,
At last preventing your unwilling sword)
Armies and fleets which kept you out so long,
Owned their great sovereign, and redressed his wrong.
When straight the people, by no force compelled,
Nor longer from their inclination held,
Break forth at once, like powder set on fire,
And, with a noble rage, their King required;
So the injured sea, which from her wonted course,
To gain some acres, avarice did force,
If the new banks, neglected once, decay,
No longer will from her old channel stay;
Raging, the late got land she overflows,
And all that's built upon't, to ruin goes.

Offenders now, the chiefest, do begin
To strive for grace, and expiate their sin.
All winds blow fair, that did the world embroil;
Your vipers treacle yield, and scorpions oil.

If then such praise the Macedonian got,
For having rudely cut the Gordian knot,
What glory's due to him that could divide
Such ravelled interests; has the knot untied,
And without stroke so smooth a passage made,
Where craft and malice such impeachments laid?

But while we praise you, you ascribe it all
To His high hand, which threw the untouched wall
Of self-demolished Jericho so low;
His angel 'twas that did before you go,
Tamed savage hearts, and made affections yield,
Like ears of corn when wind salutes the field.

Thus patience crowned, like Jobs's, your trouble ends,
Having your foes to pardon, and your friends;
For, though your courage were so firm a rock,
What private virtue could endure the shock?
Like your Great Master, you the storm withstood,
And pitied those who love with frailty showed.

Rude Indians, torturing all the royal race,
Him with the throne and dear-bought sceptre grace
That suffers best. What region could be found,
Where your herioc head had not been crowned?

The next experience of your mighty mind
Is how you combat fortune, now she's kind.
And this way, too, you are victorious found;
She flatters with the same success she frowned.
While to yourself severe, to others kind,
With power unbounded, and a will confined,
Of this vast empire you possess the care,
The softer part falls to the people's share.
Safety, and equal government, are things
Which subjects make as happy as their kings.

Faith, law, and piety, (that banished train!)
Justice and truth, with you return again.
The city's trade, and country's easy life,
Once more shall flourish without fraud or strife.
Your reign no less assures the ploughman's peace,
Than the warm sun advances his increase;
And does the shepherds as securely keep
From all their fears, as they preserve their sheep.

But, above all, the Muse-inspired train
Triumph, and raise their drooping heads again!
Kind Heaven at once has, in your person, sent
Their sacred judge, their guard, and argument.

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The King's Missive

UNDER the great hill sloping bare
To cove and meadow and Common lot,
In his council chamber and oaken chair,
Sat the worshipful Governor Endicott.
A grave, strong man, who knew no peer
In the pilgrim land, where he ruled in fear
Of God, not man, and for good or ill
Held his trust with an iron will.

He had shorn with his sword the cross from out
The flag, and cloven the May-pole down,
Harried the heathen round about,
And whipped the Quakers from town to town.
Earnest and honest, a man at need
To burn like a torch for his own harsh creed,
He kept with the flaming brand of his zeal
The gate of the holy common weal.

His brow was clouded, his eye was stern,
With a look of mingled sorrow and wrath;
'Woe's me!' he murmured: 'at every turn
The pestilent Quakers are in my path!
Some we have scourged, and banished some,
Some hanged, more doomed, and still they come,
Fast as the tide of yon bay sets in,
Sowing their heresy's seed of sin.

'Did we count on this? Did we leave behind
The graves of our kin, the comfort and ease
Of our English hearths and homes, to find
Troublers of Israel such as these?
Shall I spare? Shall I pity them? God forbid!
I will do as the prophet to Agag did
They come to poison the wells of the Word,
I will hew them in pieces before the Lord!'

The door swung open, and Rawson the clerk
Entered, and whispered under breath,
'There waits below for the hangman's work
A fellow banished on pain of death--
Shattuck, of Salem, unhealed of the whip,
Brought over in Master Goldsmith's ship
At anchor here in a Christian port,
With freight of the devil and all his sort!'

Twice and thrice on the chamber floor
Striding fiercely from wall to wall,
'The Lord do so to me and more,'
The Governor cried, 'if I hang not all!
Bring hither the Quaker.' Calm, sedate,
With the look of a man at ease with fate,
Into that presence grim and dread
Came Samuel Shattuck, with hat on head.

'Off with the knave's hat!' An angry hand
Smote down the offence; but the wearer said,
With a quiet smile, 'By the king's command
I bear his message and stand in his stead.'
In the Governor's hand a missive he laid
With the royal arms on its seal displayed,
And the proud man spake as he gazed thereat,
Uncovering, 'Give Mr. Shattuck his hat.'

He turned to the Quaker, bowing low,--
'The king commandeth your friends' release;
Doubt not he shall be obeyed, although
To his subjects' sorrow and sin's increase.
What he here enjoineth, John Endicott,
His loyal servant, questioneth not.
You are free! God grant the spirit you own
May take you from us to parts unknown.'

So the door of the jail was open cast,
And, like Daniel, out of the lion's den
Tender youth and girlhood passed,
With age-bowed women and gray-locked men.
And the voice of one appointed to die
Was lifted in praise and thanks on high,
And the little maid from New Netherlands
Kissed, in her joy, the doomed man's hands.

And one, whose call was to minister
To the souls in prison, beside him went,
An ancient woman, bearing with her
The linen shroud for his burial meant.
For she, not counting her own life dear,
In the strength of a love that cast out fear,
Had watched and served where her brethren died,
Like those who waited the cross beside.

One moment they paused on their way to look
On the martyr graves by the Common side,
And much scourged Wharton of Salem took
His burden of prophecy up and cried
'Rest, souls of the valiant! Not in vain
Have ye borne the Master's cross of pain;
Ye have fought the fight, ye are victors crowned,
With a fourfold chain ye have Satan bound!'

The autumn haze lay soft and still
On wood and meadow and upland farms;
On the brow of Snow Hill the great windmill
Slowly and lazily swung its arms;
Broad in the sunshine stretched away,
With its capes and islands, the turquoise bay;
And over water and dusk of pines
Blue hills lifted their faint outlines.

The topaz leaves of the walnut glowed,
The sumach added its crimson fleck,
And double in air and water showed
The tinted maples along the Neck;
Through frost flower clusters of pale star-mist,
And gentian fringes of amethyst,
And royal plumes of golden-rod,
The grazing cattle on Centry trod.

But as they who see not, the Quakers saw
The world about them; they only thought
With deep thanksgiving and pious awe
On the great deliverance God had wrought.
Through lane and alley the gazing town
Noisily followed them up and down;
Some with scoffing and brutal jeer,
Some with pity and words of cheer.

One brave voice rose above the din.
Upsall, gray with his length of days,
Cried from the door of his Red Lion Inn
'Men of Boston, give God the praise
No more shall innocent blood call down
The bolts of wrath on your guilty town.
The freedom of worship, dear to you,
Is dear to all, and to all is due.

'I see the vision of days to come,
When your beautiful City of the Bay
Shall be Christian liberty's chosen home,
And none shall his neighbor's rights gainsay.
The varying notes of worship shall blend
And as one great prayer to God ascend,
And hands of mutual charity raise
Walls of salvation and gates of praise.'

So passed the Quakers through Boston town,
Whose painful ministers sighed to see
The walls of their sheep-fold falling down,
And wolves of heresy prowling free.
But the years went on, and brought no wrong;
With milder counsels the State grew strong,
As outward Letter and inward Light
Kept the balance of truth aright.

The Puritan spirit perishing not,
To Concord's yeomen the signal sent,
And spake in the voice of the cannon-shot
That severed the chains of a continent.
With its gentler mission of peace and good-will
The thought of the Quaker is living still,
And the freedom of soul he prophesied
Is gospel and law where the martyrs died.

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A Fantasy of War

From Australia
OH, tell me, God of Battles! Oh, say what is to come!
The King is in his trenches, the millionaire at home;
The Kaiser with his toiling troops, the Czar is at the front.
Oh! Tell me, God of Battles! Who bears the battle’s brunt?
The Queen knits socks for soldiers, the Empress does the same,
And know no more than peasant girls which nation is to blame.
The wounded live to fight again, or live to slave for bread;
The Slain have graves above the Slain—the Dead are with the Dead.
The widowed young shall wed or not, the widowed old remain—
And all the nations of the world prepare for war again!
But ere that time shall be, O God, say what shall here befall!
Ten millions at the battle fronts, and we’re five millions all!
The world You made was wide, O God, the world we made is small.
We toiled not as our fathers toiled, for
Sport was all our boast;
And so we built our cities, Lord, like warts, upon the coast.

From Europe
The seer stood on the mountain side, the witch was in her cave;
The gipsy with his caravan, the sailor on the wave;
The sophist in his easy chair, with ne’er a soul to save,
The factory slaves went forth to slave, the peasant to the field;
The women worked in winter there for one-tenth of the yield;
The village Granny nursed their babes to give them time to slave;
The child was in the cradle, and the grandsire in his grave.
The rich man slumbered in his chair, full fed with wine and meat;
The lady in her carriage sat, the harlot walked the street
With paint upon her cheek and neck, through winter’s snow and sleet.
We saw the pride of Wealth go mad, and Misery increase—
And still the God of Gods was dumb and all the world was Peace!

The wizard on the mountain side, he drew a rasping breath,
For he was old and near to life, as he was near to death;
And he looked out and saw the star they saw at Nazareth.
“Two thousand years have passed,” he said. “A thousand years,” he said.
“A hundred years have passed,” he said, “and, lo! the star is red!
The time has come at last,” he said, and bowed his hoary head.
He laid him on the mountain-side—and so the seer was dead.
And so the Eastern Star was red, and it was red indeed—
We saw the Red Star in the South, but we took little heed.
(The Prophet in his garret starved or drank himself to death.)

The witch was mumbling in her hole before the dawn was grey;
The witch she took a crooked stick and prodded in the clay;
She doddered round and mumbled round as is the beldame’s way.
“Four children shall be born,” she said, “four children at a birth;
Four children of a peasant brood—and what shall come on earth?
Four of the poorest peasantry that Europe knows,” she said,
“And all the nations of the world shall count their gory dead!”
The babes are born in Italy—and all the world is red!

The Ship

The world You gave was wide, O Lord, and wars were far away!
The goal was just as near, O Lord, to-morrow or to-day!
The tree You grew was stout and sound to carve the plank and keel.
(And when the darkness hid the sky Your hand was on the wheel.)
The pine You grew was straight and tall to fashion spar and mast.
Our sails and gear from flax and hemp were stout and firm and fast.
You gave the metal from the mine and taught the carpenter
To fasten plank and rib and beam, and sheath and iron her.
The world You made was wide, O Lord, with signs on sea and sky;
And all the stars were true, O Lord, you gave to steer her by.
More graceful than the albatross upon the morning breeze.
Ah me! she was the fairest thing that ever sailed the seas;
And when the madness of mankind burns out at last in war,
The world may yet behold the day she’ll sail the seas once more.
We were not satisfied, O Lord, we were not satisfied;
We stole Your electricity to fortify our pride!
You gave the horse to draw our loads, You gave the horse to ride;
But we must fly above the Alps and race beneath the tide.
We searched in sacred places for the things we did not need;
Your anger shook our cities down—and yet we took no heed.
We robbed the water and the air to give us “energy,”
As we’d exhaust Thy secret store of electricity.
The day may come—and such a day!—when we shall need all three.

And lest Thou shouldst not understand our various ways and whys,
We cut Thy trees for paper, Lord, where-on to print our lies.
We sent the grand Titanic forth, for pleasure, gold and show;
And all her skeletons of wealth and jewels lie below.
For fame or curiosity, for pride, and greed, or trade,
We sought to know all things and make all things that Thou hast made!
From Pole to Pole we sought to speak, and Heaven’s powers employ—
Our cruisers feverishly seek such language to destroy.
We shaped all things for war, and now the Sister Nations wade
Knee-deep in white man’s blood to wreck all things that we have made!
For in the rottenness of Peace—worse than this bitter strife!—
We murdered the Humanity and Poetry of Life.

The Bells and the Child
The gongs are in the temple—the bells are in the tower;
The “tom-tom” in the jungle and the town clock tells the hour;
And all Thy feathered kind at morn have testified Thy power.

Did ever statesman save a land or science save a soul?—
Did ever Tower of Babel stand or war-drums cease to roll?—
Or wedding-bells to ring, O Lord—or requiems to toll?

Did ever child in cradle laid—born of a healthy race—
Cease for an hour, all unafraid, to testify Thy grace?
That shook its rattle from its bed in its proud father’s face?

Cathedral bells must cease awhile, because of Pride and Sin,
That never failed a wedding-morn that hailed a king and queen,
Or failed to peal for victory that brave men died to win.
(Or failed to ring the Old Year out and ring the New Year in.)

The world You made was wide, O God!—O God, ’tis narrow now—
And all its ways must run with blood, for we knew more than Thou!
And millions perish at the guns or rot beside the plough,
For we knew more than Thou.

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King Volmer and Elsie

After the Danish of Christian Winter

Where, over heathen doom-rings and gray stones of the Horg,
In its little Christian city stands the church of Vordingborg,
In merry mood King Volmer sat, forgetful of his power,
As idle as the Goose of Gold that brooded on his tower.

Out spake the King to Henrik, his young and faithful squire
'Dar'st trust thy little Elsie, the maid of thy desire?'
'Of all the men in Denmark she loveth only me
As true to me is Elsie as thy Lily is to thee.'

Loud laughed the king: 'To-morrow shall bring another day,
When I myself will test her; she will not say me nay.'
Thereat the lords and gallants, that round about him stood,
Wagged all their heads in concert and smiled as courtiers should.

The gray lark sings o'er Vordingborg, and on the ancient town
From the tall tower of Valdemar the Golden Goose looks down;
The yellow grain is waving in the pleasant wind of morn,
The wood resounds with cry of hounds and blare of hunter's horn.

In the garden of her father little Elsie sits and spins,
And, singing with the early birds, her daily task, begins.
Gay tulips bloom and sweet mint curls around her garden-bower,
But she is sweeter than the mint and fairer than the flower.

About her form her kirtle blue clings lovingly, and, white
As snow, her loose sleeves only leave her small, round wrists in sight;
Below, the modest petticoat can only half conceal
The motion of the lightest foot that ever turned a wheel.

The cat sits purring at her side, bees hum in sunshine warm;
But, look! she starts, she lifts her face, she shades it with her arm.
And, hark! a train of horsemen, with sound of dog and horn,
Come leaping o'er the ditches, come trampling down the corn!

Merrily rang the bridle-reins, and scarf and plume streamed gay,
As fast beside her father's gate the riders held their way;
And one was brave in scarlet cloak, with golden spur on heel,
And, as he checked his foaming steed, the maiden checked her wheel.

'All hail among thy roses, the fairest rose to me!
For weary months in secret my heart has longed for thee!'
What noble knight was this? What words for modest maiden's ear?
She dropped a lowly courtesy of bashfulness and fear.

She lifted up her spinning-wheel; she fain would seek the door,
Trembling in every limb, her cheek with blushes crimsoned o'er.
'Nay, fear me not,' the rider said, 'I offer heart and hand,
Bear witness these good Danish knights who round about me stand.

'I grant you time to think of this, to answer as you may,
For to-morrow, little Elsie, shall bring another day.'
He spake the old phrase slyly as, glancing round his train,
He saw his merry followers seek to hide their smiles in vain.

'The snow of pearls I'll scatter in your curls of golden hair,
I'll line with furs the velvet of the kirtle that you wear;
All precious gems shall twine your neck; and in a chariot gay
You shall ride, my little Elsie, behind four steeds of gray.

'And harps shall sound, and flutes shall play, and brazen lamps shall glow;
On marble floors your feet shall weave the dances to and fro.
At frosty eventide for us the blazing hearth shall shine,
While, at our ease, we play at draughts, and drink the blood-red wine.'

Then Elsie raised her head and met her wooer face to face;
A roguish smile shone in her eye and on her lip found place.
Back from her low white forehead the curls of gold she threw,
And lifted up her eyes to his, steady and clear and blue.

'I am a lowly peasant, and you a gallant knight;
I will not trust a love that soon may cool and turn to slight.
If you would wed me henceforth be a peasant, not a lord;
I bid you hang upon the wall your tried and trusty sword.'

'To please you, Elsie, I will lay keen Dynadel away,
And in its place will swing the scythe and mow your father's hay.'
'Nay, but your gallant scarlet cloak my eyes can never bear;
A Vadmal coat, so plain and gray, is all that you must wear.'

'Well, Vadmal will I wear for you,' the rider gayly spoke,
'And on the Lord's high altar I'll lay my scarlet cloak.'
'But mark,' she said, 'no stately horse my peasant love must ride,
A yoke of steers before the plough is all that he must guide.'

The knight looked down upon his steed: 'Well, let him wander free
No other man must ride the horse that has been backed by me.
Henceforth I'll tread the furrow and to my oxen talk,
If only little Elsie beside my plough will walk.'

'You must take from out your cellar cask of wine and flask and can;
The homely mead I brew you may serve a peasant man.'
'Most willingly, fair Elsie, I'll drink that mead of thine,
And leave my minstrel's thirsty throat to drain my generous wine.'

'Now break your shield asunder, and shatter sign and boss,
Unmeet for peasant-wedded arms, your knightly knee across.
And pull me down your castle from top to basement wall,
And let your plough trace furrows in the ruins of your hall!'

Then smiled he with a lofty pride; right well at last he knew
The maiden of the spinning-wheel was to her troth. plight true.
'Ah, roguish little Elsie! you act your part full well
You know that I must bear my shield and in my castle dwell!

'The lions ramping on that shield between the hearts aflame
Keep watch o'er Denmark's honor, and guard her ancient name.

'For know that I am Volmer; I dwell in yonder towers,
Who ploughs them ploughs up Denmark, this goodly home of ours'.

'I tempt no more, fair Elsie! your heart I know is true;
Would God that all our maidens were good and pure as you!
Well have you pleased your monarch, and he shall well repay;
God's peace! Farewell! To-morrow will bring another day!'

He lifted up his bridle hand, he spurred his good steed then,
And like a whirl-blast swept away with all his gallant men.
The steel hoofs beat the rocky path; again on winds of morn
The wood resounds with cry of hounds and blare of hunter's horn.

'Thou true and ever faithful!' the listening Henrik cried;
And, leaping o'er the green hedge, he stood by Elsie's side.
None saw the fond embracing, save, shining from afar,
The Golden Goose that watched them from the tower of Valdemar.

O darling girls of Denmark! of all the flowers that throng
Her vales of spring the fairest, I sing for you my song.
No praise as yours so bravely rewards the singer's skill;
Thank God! of maids like Elsie the land has plenty still!

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An English Ballad, On The Taking Of Namur, By The King Of Great Britain

Dulce est desipere in loco.

Some Folks are drunk, yet do not know it:
So might not Bacchus give You Law?
Was it a Muse, O lofty Poet,
Or Virgin of St. Cyr, You saw?
Why all this Fury? What's the Matter,
That Oaks must come from Thrace to dance?
Must stupid Stocks be taught to flatter?
And is there no such Wood in France?
Why must the Winds all hold their Tongue?
If they a little Breath should raise;
Would that have spoil'd the Poet's Song;
Or puff'd away the Monarch's Praise?

Pindar, that Eagle, mounts the Skies;
While Virtue leads the noble Way:
Too like a Vultur Boileau flies,
Where sordid Interest shows the Prey.
When once the Poet's Honour ceases,
From Reason far his Transports rove:
And Boileau, for eight hundred Pieces,
Makes Louis take the Wall of Jove.

Neptune and Sol came from above,
Shap'd like Megrigny and Vauban:
They arm'd these Rocks; then show'd old Jove
Of Marli Wood, the Wond'rous Plan.
Such Walls, these three wise Gods agreed,
By Human Force could ne'er be shaken:
But You and I in Homer read
Of Gods, as well as Men, mistaken.
Sambre and Maese their Waves may join;
But ne'er can William's Force restrain:
He'll pass them Both, who pass'd the Boyn:
Remember this, and arm the Sein.

Full fifteen thousand lusty Fellows
With Fire and Sword the Fort maintain:
Each was a Hercules, You tell us;
Yet out they march'd like common Men.
Cannons above, and Mines below
Did Death and Tombs for Foes contrive:
Yet Matters have been order'd so,
That most of Us are still alive.

If Namur be compar'd to Troy;
Then Britain's Boys excell'd the Greeks:
Their Siege did ten long Years employ:
We've done our Bus'ness in ten Weeks.
What Godhead does so fast advance,
With dreadful Pow'r those Hills to gain?
'Tis little Will, the Scourge of France;
No Godhead, but the first of Men.
His mortal Arm exerts the Pow'r,
To keep ev'n Mons's Victor under:
And that same Jupiter no more
Shall fright the World with impious Thunder.

Our King thus trembles at Namur,
Whilst Villeroy, who ne'er afraid is,
To Bruxelles marches on secure,
To bomb the Monks, and scare the Ladies.
After this glorious Expedition,
One Battle makes the Marshal Great:
He must perform the King's Commission:
Who knows, but Orange may retreat?
Kings are allow'd to feign the Gout,
Or be prevail'd with not to Fight:
And mighty Louis hop'd, no doubt,
That William wou'd preserve that Right.

From Seyn and Loyre, to Rhone and Po,
See every Mother's Son appear:
In such a Case ne'er blame a Foe,
If he betrays some little Fear.
He comes, the mighty Vill'roy comes;
Finds a small River in his Way:
So waves his Colours, beats his Drums;
And thinks it prudent there to stay.
The Gallic Troops breath Blood and War:
The Marshal cares not to march faster:
Poor Vill'roy moves so slowly here,
We fancy'd all, it was his Master.

Will no kind Flood, no friendly Rain
Disguise the Marshal's plain Disgrace?
No Torrents swell the low Mehayne?
The World will say, he durst not pass.
Why will no Hyades appear,
Dear Poet, on the Banks of Sambre?
Just as they did that mighty Year,
When You turn'd June into December.
The Water-Nymphs are too unkind
To Vill'roy; are the Land-Nymphs so?
And fly They All, at Once Combin'd
To shame a General, and a Beau?

Truth, Justice, Sense, Religion, Fame
May join to finish William's Story:
Nations set free may bless his Name;
And France in Secret own his Glory.
But Ipres, Mastrich, and Cambray,
Besancon, Ghent, St. Omers, Lysle,
Courtray, and Dole—Ye Criticks, say,
How poor to this was Pindar's Style?
With Eke's and Also's tack thy Strain,
Great Bard; and sing the deathless Prince,
Who lost Namur the same Campaign,
He bought Dixmude, and plunder'd Deynse.

I'll hold Ten Pound, my Dream is out:
I'd tell it You, but for the Rattle
Of those confounded Drums: no doubt
Yon' bloody Rogues intend a Battel.
Dear me! a hundred thousand French
With Terror fill the neighb'ring Field;
While William carries on the Trench,
'Till both the Town and Castle yield.
Vill'roy to Boufflers should advance,
Says Mars, thro' Cannons Mouths in Fire;
Id est , one Mareschal of France
Tells t'other, He can come no nigher.

Regain the Lines the shortest Way,
Vill'roy; or to Versailles take Post:
For, having seen it, Thou can'st say
The Steps, by which Namur was lost.
The Smoke and Flame may vex thy Sight:
Look not once back: but as thou goest,
Quicken the Squadrons in their Flight;
And bid the D—l take the slowest.
Think not what Reason to produce,
From Louis to conceal thy Fear:
He'll own the Strength of thy Excuse;
Tell him that William was but there.

Now let us look for Louis' Feather,
That us'd to shine so like a Star:
The Gen'rals could not get together,
Wanting that Influence, great in War.
O Poet! Thou had'st been discreeter,
Hanging the Monarch's Hat so high;
If Thou had'st dubb'd thy Star, a Meteor,
That did but blaze, and rove, and die.

To animate the doubtful Fight,
Namur in vain expects that Ray:
In vain France hopes, the sickly Light
Shou'd shine near William's fuller Day.
It knows Versailles, it's proper Station;
Nor cares for any foreign Sphere:
Where You see Boileau's Constellation,
Be sure no Danger can be near.

The French had gather'd all their Force;
And William met them in their Way:
Yet off they brush'd, both Foot and Horse.
What has Friend Boileau left to say?
When his high Muse is bent upon't,
To sing her King, that Great Commander,
Or on the Shores of Hellespont,
Or in the Valleys near Scamander;
Wou'd it not spoil his noble Task,
If any foolish Phrygian there is,
Impertinent enough to ask,
How far Namur may be from Paris?

Two Stanza's more before we end,
Of Death, Pikes, Rocks, Arms, Bricks, and Fire:
Leave 'em behind You, honest Friend:
And with your Country-Men retire.
Your Ode is spoilt; Namur is freed;
For Dixmuyd something yet is due:
So good Count Guiscard may proceed;
But Boufflers, Sir, one Word with you.—

'Tis done. In Sight of these Commanders,
Who neither Fight, nor raise the Siege,
The Foes of France march safe thro' Flanders;
Divide to Bruxelles, or to Liege.
Send, Fame, this News to Trianon;
That Boufflers may new Honours gain:
He the same Play by Land has shown,
As Tourville did upon the Main.
Yet is the Marshal made a Peer:
O William, may thy Arms advance;
That He may lose Dinant next Year,
And so be Constable of France.

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Charles Edward At Versailles


Take away that star and garter-
Hide them from my aching sight:
Neither king nor prince shall tempt me
From my lonely room this night;
Fitting for the throneless exile
Is the atmosphere of pall,
And the gusty winds that shiver
'Neath the tapestry on the wall.
When the taper faintly dwindles
Like the pulse within the vein,
That to gay and merry measure
Ne'er may hope to bound again,
Let the shadows gather round me
While I sit in silence here,
Broken-hearted, as an orphan
Watching by his father's bier.
Let me hold my still communion
Far from every earthly sound-
Day of penance-day of passion-
Ever, as the year comes round;
Fatal day, whereon the latest
Die was cast for me and mine-
Cruel day, that quelled the fortunes
Of the hapless Stuart line!
Phantom-like, as in a mirror,
Rise the griesly scenes of death-
There before me, in its wildness,
Stretches bare Culloden's heath:
There the broken clans are scattered,
Gaunt as wolves, and famine-eyed,
Hunger gnawing at their vitals,
Hope abandoned, all but pride-
Pride, and that supreme devotion
Which the Southron never knew,
And the hatred, deeply rankling,
'Gainst the Hanoverian crew.
Oh, my God! are these the remnants,
These the wrecks of the array
That around the royal standard
Gathered on the glorious day,
When, in deep Glenfinnan's valley;
Thousands, on their bended knees,
Saw once more that stately ensign
Waving in the northern breeze,
When the noble Tullibardine
Stood beneath its weltering fold,
With the Ruddy Lion ramping
In the field of tressured gold,
When the mighty heart of Scotland,
All too big to slumber more,
Burst in wrath and exultation,
Like a huge volcano's roar?
There they stand, the battered columns,
Underneath the murky sky,
In the hush of desperation,
Not to conquer, but to die.
Hark! the bagpipe's fitful wailing:
Not the pibroch loud and shrill,
That, with hope of bloody banquet,
Lured the ravens from the hill,
But a dirge both low and solemn,
Fit for ears of dying men,
Marshalled for their latest battle,
Never more to fight again.
Madness-madness! Why this shrinking?
Were we less inured to war
When our reapers swept the harvest
From the field of red Dunbar?
Bring my horse, and blow the trumpet!
Call the riders of Fitz-James:
Let Lord Lewis head the column!
Valiant chiefs of mighty names-
Trusty Keppoch, stout Glengarry,
Gallant Gordon, wise Locheill-
Bid the clansmen hold together,
Fast, and fell, and firm as steel.
Elcho, never look so gloomy-
What avails a saddened brow?
Heart, man, heart! we need it sorely,
Never half so much, as now.
Had we but a thousand troopers,
Had we but a thousand more!
Noble Perth, I hear them coming!-
Hark! the English cannons' roar.
God! how awful sounds that volley,
Bellowing through the mist and rain!
Was not that the Highland slogan?
Let me hear that shout again!
Oh, for prophet eyes to witness
How the desperate battle goes!
Cumberland! I would not fear thee,
Could my Camerons see their foes.
Sound, I say, the charge at venture-
'Tis not naked steel we fear;
Better perish in the mêlée
Than be shot like driven deer;
Hold! the mist begins to scatter!
There in front 'tis rent asunder,
And the cloudy bastion crumbles
Underneath the deafening thunder;
There I see the scarlet gleaming!
Now, Macdonald-now or never!-
Woe is me, the clans are broken!
Father, thou art lost for ever!
Chief and vassal, lord and yeoman,
There they lie in heaps together,
Smitten by the deadly volley,
Rolled in blood upon the heather;
And the Hanoverian horsemen,
Fiercely riding to and fro,
Deal their murderous strokes at random.-
Ah, my God! where am I now?
Will that baleful vision never
Vanish from my aching sight?
Must those scenes and sounds of terror
Haunt me still by day and night?
Yea, the earth hath no oblivion
For the noblest chance it gave,
None, save in its latest refuge-
Seek it only in the grave!
Love may die, and hatred slumber,
And their memory will decay,
As the watered garden recks not
Of the drought of yesterday;
But the dream of power once broken,
What shall give repose again?
What shall charm the serpent-furies
Coiled around the maddening brain?
What kind draught can nature offer
Strong enough to lull their sting?
Better to be born a peasant
Than to live an exiled king!
Oh, these years of bitter anguish!-
What is life to such as me,
With my very heart as palsied
As a wasted cripple's knee!
Suppliant-like for alms depending
On a false and foreign court,
Jostled by the flouting nobles,
Half their pity, half their sport.
Forced to hold a place in pageant,
Like a royal prize of war,
Walking with dejected features
Close behind his victor's car,
Styled an equal-deemed a servant-
Fed with hopes of future gain-
Worse by far is fancied freedom
Than the captive's clanking chain!
Could I change this gilded bondage
Even for the dusky tower,
Whence King James beheld his lady
Sitting in the castle bower;
Birds around her sweetly singing,
Fluttering on the kindling spray,
And the comely garden glowing
In the light of rosy May.
Love descended to the window-
Love removed the bolt and bar-
Love was warder to the lovers
From the dawn to even-star.
Wherefore, Love, didst thou betray me?
Where is now the tender glance?
Where the meaning looks once lavished
By the dark-eyed Maid of France?
Where the words of hope she whispered,
When around my neck she threw
That same scarf of broidered tissue,
Bade me wear it and be true-
Bade me send it as a token
When my banner waved once more
On the castled Keep of London,
Where my fathers' waved before?
And I went and did not conquer-
But I brought it back again-
Brought it back from storm and battle-
Brought it back without a stain;
And once more I knelt before her,
And I laid it at her feet,
Saying, 'Wilt thou own it, Princess?
There at least is no defeat!'
Scornfully she looked upon me
With a measured eye and cold-
Scornfully she viewed the token,
Though her fingers wrought the gold;
And she answered, faintly flushing,
'Hast thou kept it, then, so long?
Worthy matter for a minstrel
To be told in knightly song!
Worthy of a bold Provençal,
Pacing through the peaceful plain,
Singing of his lady's favour,
Boasting of her silken chain,
Yet scarce worthy of a warrior
Sent to wrestle for a crown.
Is this all that thou hast brought me
From thy fields of high renown?
Is this all the trophy carried
From the lands where thou hast been?
It was broidered by a Princess,
Canst thou give it to a Queen?'
Woman's love is writ in water!
Woman's faith is traced in sand!
Backwards-backwards let me wander
To the noble northern land:
Let me feel the breezes blowing
Fresh along the mountain-side;
Let me see the purple heather,
Let me hear the thundering tide,
Be it hoarse as Corrievreckan
Spouting when the storm is high-
Give me but one hour of Scotland-
Let me see it ere I die!
Oh, my heart is sick and heavy-
Southern gales are not for me;
Though the glens are white with winter,
Place me there, and set me free;
Give me back my trusty comrades-
Give me back my Highland maid-
Nowhere beats the heart so kindly
As beneath the tartan plaid!
Flora! when thou wert beside me,
In the wilds of far Kintail-
When the cavern gave us shelter
From the blinding sleet and hail-
When we lurked within the thicket,
And, beneath the waning moon,
Saw the sentry's bayonet glimmer,
Heard him chant his listless tune-
When the howling storm o'ertook us,
Drifting down the island's lee,
And our crazy bark was whirling
Like a nutshell on the sea-
When the nights were dark and dreary,
And amidst the fern we lay,
Faint and foodless, sore with travel,
Waiting for the streaks of day;
When thou wert an angel to me,
Watching my exhausted sleep-
Never didst thou hear me murmur-
Couldst thou see how now I weep!
Bitter tears and sobs of anguish,
Unavailing though they be:
Oh, the brave-the brave and noble-
That have died in vain for me!

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The Princes' Quest - Part the Second

A fearful and a lovely thing is Sleep,
And mighty store of secrets hath in keep;
And those there were of old who well could guess
What meant his fearfulness and loveliness,
And all his many shapes of life and death,
And all the secret things he uttereth.
But Wisdom lacketh sons like those that were,
And Sleep hath never an interpreter:
So there be none that know to read aright
The riddles he propoundeth every night.

And verily, of all the wondrous things
By potence wrought of mortal visionings
In that dark house whereof Sleep hath the keys-
Of suchlike miracles and mysteries
Not least, meseems, is this among them all:
That one in dream enamoured should fall,
And ever afterward, in waking thought,
Worship the phantom which the dream hath brought.
Howbeit such things have been, and in such wise
Did that king's son behold, with mortal eyes,
A more than mortal loveliness, and thus
Was stricken through with love miraculous.

For evermore thereafter he did seem
To see that royal maiden of his dream
Unto her palace riding sovranly;
And much he marvelled where that land might be
That basking lay beneath her beauty's beams,
Well knowing in his heart that suchlike dreams
Come not in idleness but evermore
Are Fate's veiled heralds that do fly before
Their mighty master as he journeyeth,
And sing strange songs of life and love and death.
And so he did scarce aught but dream all day
Of that far land revealed of sleep, that lay
He knew not where; and musing more and more
On her the mistress of that unknown shore,
There fell a sadness on him, thus to be
Vext with desire of her he might not see
Yet could not choose but long for; till erewhile
Nor man nor woman might behold the smile
Make sudden morning of his countenance,
But likest one he seemed half-sunk, in trance,
That wanders groping in a shadowy land,
Hearing strange things that none can understand.
Now after many days and nights had passed,
The queen, his mother well-beloved, at last,
Being sad at heart because his heart was sad,
Would e'en be told what hidden cause he had
To be cast down in so mysterious wise:
And he, beholding by her tearful eyes
How of his grief she was compassionate,
No more a secret made thereof, but straight
Discovered to her all about his dream-
The mystic happy marvel of the stream.
A fountain running Youth to all the land;
Flowing with deep dim woods on either hand
Where through the boughs did birds of strange song flit:
And all beside the bloomy banks of it
The city with its towers and domes far-seen.
And then he told her how that city's queen
Did pass before him like a breathing flower,
That he had loved her image from that hour.
'And sure am I,' upspake the Prince at last,
'That somewhere in this world so wide and vast
Lieth the land mine eyes have inly seen;-
Perhaps in very truth my spirit hath been
Translated thither, and in very truth
Hath seen the brightness of that city of youth.
Who knows?-for I have heard a wise man say
How that in sleep the souls of mortals may,
At certain seasons which the stars decree,
From bondage of the body be set free
To visit farthest countries, and be borne
Back to their fleshly houses ere the morn.'

At this the good queen, greatly marvelling,
Made haste to tell the story to the king;
Who hearing laughed her tale to scorn. But when
Weeks followed one another, and all men
About his person had begun to say
'What ails our Prince? He groweth day by day
Less like the Prince we knew… wan cheeks, and eyes
Hollow for lack of sleep, and secret sighs….
Some hidden grief the youth must surely have,'-
Then like his queen the king himself wox grave;
And thus it chanced one summer eventide,
They sitting in an arbour side by side,
All unawares the Pince passed by that way,
And as he passed, unmark'd of either-they
Nought heeding but their own discourse-could hear
Amidst thereof his own name uttered clear,
And straight was 'ware it was the queen who spake,
And spake of him; whereat the king 'gan make
Answer in this wise, somewhat angerly:
'The youth is crazed, and but one remedy
Know I, to cure such madness-he shall wed
Some princess; ere another day be sped,
Myself will bid this dreamer go prepare
To take whom I shall choose to wife; some fair
And highborn maiden, worthy to be queen
Hereafter.'-So the Prince, albeit unseen,
Heard, and his soul rebelled against the thing
His sire had willed; and slowly wandering
About the darkling pleasance-all amid
A maze of intertangled walks, or hid
In cedarn glooms, or where mysterious bowers
Were heavy with the breath of drowsèd flowers-
Something, he knew not what, within his heart
Rose like a faint-heard voice and said 'Depart
From hence and follow where thy dream shall lead.'
And fain would he have followed it indeed,
But wist not whither it would have him go.

Howbeit, while yet he wandered to and fro,
Among his thoughts a chance remembrance leapt
All sudden-like a seed, that long hath slept
In earth, upspringing as a flower at last,
When he that sowed forgetteth where 'twas cast;
A chance remembrance of the tales men told
Concerning one whose wisdom manifold
Made all the world to wonder and revere-
A mighty mage and learn'd astrologer
Who dwelt in honour at a great king's court
In a far country, whither did resort
Pilgrims innumerable from many lands,
Who crossed the wide seas and the desert sands
To learn of him the occult significance
Of some perplexing omen, or perchance
To hear forewhisperings of their destiny
And know what things in aftertime should be.
'Now surely,' thought the Prince, 'this subtile seer,
To whom the darkest things belike are clear,
Could read the riddle of my dream and tell
Where lieth that strange land delectable
Wherein mine empress hath her dwelling-place.
So might I look at last upon her face,
And make an end of all these weary sighs,
And melt into the shadow of her eyes!'
Thus musing, for a little space he stood
As holden to the spot; and evil, good,
Life, death, and earth beneath and heaven above,
Shrank up to less than shadows,-only Love,
With harpings of an hundred harps unseen,
Filled all the emptiness where these had been.

But soon, like one that hath a sudden thought,
He lifted up his eyes, and turning sought
The halls once more where he was bred, and passed
Through court and corridor, and reached at last
His chamber, in a world of glimmer and gloom.
Here, while the moonrays filled the wide rich room,
The Prince in haste put off his courtly dress
For raiment of a lesser sumptuousness
(A sober habit such as might disguise
His royal rank in any stranger's eyes)
And taking in his hand three gems that made
Three several splendours in the moonlight, laid
These in his bosom, where no eye might see
The triple radiance; then all noiselessly
Down the wide stair from creaking floor to floor
Passed, and went out from the great palace-door.

Crossing the spacious breadth of garden ground,
Wherein his footfalls were the only sound
Save the wind's wooing of the tremulous trees,
Forth of that region of imperial ease
He fared, amid the doubtful shadows dim,
No eye in all the place beholding him;
No eye, save only of the warders, who
Opened the gates that he might pass therethrough.

And now to the safe-keeping of the night
Intrusted he the knowledge of his flight;
And quitting all the purlieus of the court,
Out from the city by a secret port
Went, and along the moonlit highway sped.
And himself spake unto himself and said
(Heard only of the silence in his heart)
'Tarry thou here no longer, but depart
Unto the land of the Great Mage; and seek
The Mage; and whatsoever he shall speak,
Give ear to that he saith, and reverent heed;
And wheresoever he may bid thee speed,
Thitherward thou shalt set thy face and go.
For surely one of so great lore must know
Where lies the land thou sawest in thy dream:
Nay, if he know not that,-why, then I deem
The wisdom of exceeding little worth
That reads the heavens but cannot read the earth.'

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