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Gabriel Garcia Marquez

My heart has more rooms in it than a whore house.

in Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)Report problemRelated quotes
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More Meaning to Me Than Compliments

For the purpose of message.
That is all that is meant,
By my intent.
Comprehension exchanged,
Has more meaning to me than compliments.

I am flattered by those who do it.
It inspires and motivates,
With a lift.
But I have no need to feed an ego.
Although others may wish this.
And actively solicit.

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My Heart Has So Much

I love you so deeply and truly my love. Although, I always end up putting you in trouble. You are such a nice girl because you gave me those beautiful moments of love. I cannot ever forget the true feelings which we shared. Stop blaming yourself, at least you tried your level best. You deserve happiness, lot of happiness. I wish I had something left to offer you. My heart has so much sorrow that offering it to you will result in even more pain. Not just to me but to you also. Totally empty I have become.

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More Of A Man Than Me

She said that he was more of a man than me
Though he cheated and committed adultery
He does not work so he doesn't have a job
So all he knows to do is to lie and rob.
He told her that we was a very noble man
But he still knew that she was a married woman
He asked her to cheat on her husband true
And she didn't care as to that she wasn't new.
She would go visit him while I, her husband slept
And that secret to no-one did she kept
Her daughters and friends knew of the affair she was in
And they knew how once again she committed that sin.
She and him with her children now live in his house
They belong to no-one but a forgotten spouse
He’s commits crimes of sin against his soul and GOD
To man and woman he is nothing but a fraud.
Now she lies and steals and puts the blame on me
For her weak soul and mind and her adultery
A woman I know now she truly never was
As she cheats and steals and lust as a whore does.
She went to school thinking that will erase her past
But that's a game she plays as her sin will always last
And the lies she tells others so her they will believe
But all any soul has to do is look at her and see.
So now I think of what to me that she had said and done
While the thought of being true and devout she did shun
I remember when she said he was more of a man than me
But neither of them knew of truth, honor love or honesty.

Randy L. McClave

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To Ensure If A Hot Pot Has More

If there is coffee or tea in a cup I lift up,
A sipping of it will be done.
To savor.
And not to spill or pour a single drop.
But my eyes will be kept,
To ensure if a hot pot has more.
Nothing about an experience had in the doing...
That I have enjoyed will be taken for granted,

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Your Heart Has Trembled To My Tongue

Your heart has trembled to my tongue,
Your hands in mine have lain,
Your thought to me has leaned and clung,
Again and yet again,
My dear,
Again and yet again.

Now die the dream, or come the wife,
The past is not in vain,
For wholly as it was your life
Can never be again,
My dear,
Can never be again.

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Emily Dickinson

The Heart has narrow Banks


The Heart has narrow Banks
It measures like the Sea
In mighty—unremitting Bass
And Blue Monotony

Till Hurricane bisect
And as itself discerns
Its sufficient Area
The Heart convulsive learns

That Calm is but a Wall
Of unattempted Gauze
An instant's Push demolishes
A Questioning—dissolves.

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Song Of The Unsung Girl

I'm falling head over heels.
I'm screaming at the top of my lungs inside.
How can I live through this ordeal?
My heart has more than cried.

Chaos in my head.
Chaos is my friend.
This love is not dead.
Your notice I cannot lend.

You make me feel so alive.
You make me want to die.
If your eyes to see me would strive,
I would not make my soul cry.

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I Know There Are More Poems In Me Than I Can Ever Write


I know there are more poems in me
Than I can ever write
I know that I will die
With thousand upon thousands
Of unwritten memories
And songs, dreams and perceptions-
I know each poem
A small sample
Of a larger universe
I myself cannot encompass
Words upon words
Worlds upon worlds which
Will die when I die.

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My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own

(howard greenfield, jack keller)
I told this heart of mine
Our love would never be
But then I hear a voice
And something stirs inside of me
Somehow I cant resist
The memory of your kiss
I guess my heart has a mind of its own
No matter what I do
No matter what I say
No matter how I try
I just cant turn the other way
When Im with someone new
I always think of you
I guess my heart has a mind of its own
Youre not in love with me
So why cant I forget
Im just your used to be
Its wrong and yet
I know forgetting you
Would be a hopeless thing
For Im a puppet
And I just cant seem to break the strings
I say Ill let you go
But then my heart says no
I guess my heart has a mind of its own
I guess my heart has a mind of its own

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More Out Of It Than In and Under Spotlight

I never intended to master subservience.
And respect I find difficult to give,
To anyone incompetent.
That makes little sense to me.

I know the difference between child's play,
Work and having relaxing fun...
Doing nothing at all but chilling out!
Without one concern to worry about.

I feel freer than many who are attached to things,
With such an obedience to keep them.
As if those 'things' were limbs extended.
To express a level of achievement.

And the more I pursue dreams,
With a wish to fulfill each one.
I find I have become more strict and limited,
Than those who speak of their conservative ideologies.

And that is a frightening premise,
Coming from one who claims to be a nonconformist...
In appearance.
As not to conflict with a given physical image.

It is all showbiz.
Busy giving show!
And being serious about life,
More out of it than in and under spotlight.

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My Mind Has More of a Youthfulness

This aging 'thing' seems to speed.
Some agitate their way through it.
Reminding themselves,
Nothing about this process
For them is welcomed!
And they are not pleased,
By anything it leaves.

And as I reflect,
Doing my best to accept this process...
I must admit,
Some of it I am not in total agreement with myself.
Although I go through the motions,
I am doing it with much ease!

Okay! I must say...
Sometimes I do get a bit perturbed and upset.
Especially when someone yells, 'Hey, grandpa.
Do you need assistance to cross the street? '
I grit my teeth with a fake smile I release.

Is it noticeable,
My gait appears to be slower and more noble?

This aging 'thing' seems to speed!

And I sit on a nearby bench,
To gather my breath and gently breathe.
Wishing the aches and pains that come with aging...
I could put to rest.
Knowing my mind has more of a youthfulness,
That my body, on certain days...
Could care less what my mind forgets!

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My heart has told your heart

My heart has told your heart,
I have fallen in love with you
My life, my love, trust me
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also

My heart has told your heart
I have fallen in love with you
If you say so, I'll tear down the moon and stars
This wind, this earth, I'll turn them back
What sight is in my eyes, what experience is this?
The river is close, the desert is far, why is there still thirst
I'll leave the world at your feet, meet my eyes
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also

My heart has told your heart
I have fallen in love with you
In my memories, in my dreams you come everyday
Why do you afflict me this way, my life?
From your heart, from your way I won't leave like that
This is a vow, this is my promise, 'll come back
I'll steal you from the world, just wait a little
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also

My heart has told your heart
I have fallen in love with you
My life, my love, trust me
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also

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A Beauty That Has Ceased To Flourish

I am Black...
AND patriotic.
When I say it,
It is disbelieved.
This country has more meaning to me,
Than depleting it with deception.
Or stuffing myself with greed.

As a child I was taught principles I respect.
And when I joined the military,
I was a 'kid' willing to give my life to protect.
And not one person can deny,
I have not shown to do my best.

I've been a victim of disparities.
Racism and neglect.
And I've been declared overqualified,
By those who 'gave' positions...
To those who couldn't pass tests.
Did I get upset?
Of course.
But I could never express to anyone,
My life is filled paying attention to hatred.
OR that I feel resentment,
By those who wish me a life of remorse.

I've divorced myself from those fools!
Whatever their color is, was...
Or whatever their designated pretentions.
I've learned that ignorance,
Has many coverings disguising it!

I am Black...
AND patriotic.
When I say it,
It is disbelieved.
This country has more meaning to me,
Than depleting it with deception.
Or stuffing myself with greed.

And it is sad to see,
Hypocrisy destroy...
A beauty that has ceased to flourish.
And investments in humanity,
Become excuses to feed ill mentalities.

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Something Less Obvious Has Got to Be the Cause

People are awarded funding and grants,
For the most ridiculous incentives.
$600,000.00 for an internet newspaper,
In a place where most folks are illiterate.
And those who aren't,
Download porn!
Blatantly this is done in the libraries.

Let's be real about this.
Many hold tainted cash in their fists!
It has become too easy to openly steal it!

A half a millions dollars awarded,
To a theatrical entity to study the prospects of 'space'.
You know...
SPACE.-->('nothing here') -->('nor here')
But $500,000.00 is needed when and 'if' it appears.
And the feasibility of the future use of it,
Has from us to be made clear.
And legislated to get more.
In a state declaring itself the richest.

Wicked is not the word for this self centered,
Self righteousness professed to be a thoughtfulness.

But those in the urban centers...
Live lives taken away from them.
And live that suppressed oppression,
Sore and poor!
Knowing bread crumbs are thrown to them,
From cracked doors.
And sheltered as to not come into contact,
With any sign of intelligence.
For them those areas are off limits.

And nothing stimulates like a ski slope needing snow.
As an economic start up package...
This has more of an urgency,
Than those having no where to go.
And if they do not ski,
Why hold a job at a lodge where only the 'selected' show.
Needing hundreds of thousands of dollars,
To 'seed' their treatment to allow their 'healthy' glow!

These thieves do not know they are also sleazy.

Crazed is not a word for this insanity!
Not if you are mindless...
Like many of our incompetent 'leaders' prove to be!
Or crooks with lowlife mentalities.
There 'has' to be an explanation for this irresponsibility,
Besides ignorance and stupidity.
Something less obvious has got to be the cause.

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Cynical Point of View

Perceptions you have are yours.
That is not in question.
All I'm saying is that fortuitous opportunities...
Seem not to be dancing, of late, on their agendas.
Selling propaganda seems no longer an issue for them.

I know how it is to be blinded by dazzle.
And making payments to fulfill tax collectors' dreams.
I am not completely a nonconformist!
I have suffered dearly to keep up images myself.
With not a dime in my pocket!

Right now...
I could use a flashlight,
To see the depths of my low credit rating!
Don't laugh!
Laugh when we discuss my current finances!
If Richard Pryor was alive...
He'd be crying right now!
My checking account has more dust in it,
Than money!
You see a hint of a smile on my face?
You will not be able to detect that by radar.
Trust me!
I 'still' have dreams of taking a cruise,
And shopping on Rodeo Drive...
In Hollywood!
That's how attached I am on receiving my piece,
Of that MacIntosh Apple Pie.
With a chicken steaming with vegetables in my pot!
I have not given up my addictions to those visions.

So when I say I admire you?
I admire the way you keep up your pretentions...
You need to open up a can of reality!
And if you have none...
I'll give you a case.
I've been storing that up for years!

Remember when I asked you to loan me five dollars,
And you gave me ten?
I have never forgotten that!
You have a good heart!
There is no debate about your warmth,
Or sincerety of purpose.

It's the thoughts in you head I now question!
And believe me,
It is not your perceptions.
You keep those!
I have my own.
It is how you are dealing with facts that concern me!

Somehow you think your lifestyle,
Is worth efforts to keep maintained!
That is going to change.
Along with any prior delusions you may still have,
That my cynical point of view,
Comes from a destitute childhood!

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There's More To Our Lives Than Oil

The Gulf of Mexico is a beautiful place,
Where nature and wildlife abound,
Spoiled by who else but the Human Race,
These disasters no longer confound.

Whenever they happen we say never again,
An enquiry is what is required,
We know for a fact it's not if it's when,
These incompetents should all be fired.

Being brutally honest what do enquiries achieve?
Apart from wasting our money,
The outcome reached none of us believe,
If it weren't so sick it'd be funny.

What kind of profits are they making?
When twenty billion dollars can be set aside,
It is nature they are forsaking,
From that we must not let them hide.

To the locals the oceans are their way of life,
Oil destroys all life in the seas,
Everything that moves is being killed by the strife,
It's them they should be trying to appease.

The oil companies just don't give a damn,
As long as they find more in reserve,
Into their pockets vast profits they'll cram,
Nature they don't want to preserve.

Now it's on to the Arctic so pure,
Unspoiled by the greed of mankind,
Once we start drilling you can be sure,
There'll no longer be an Arctic to find.

Governments must take their share of the blame,
They issue the licences involved,
All of them should hang their heads in shame,
Such disasters will never be resolved.

The entire Human Race is just as bad,
For fuel we have a terrible obsession,
Dependence on what's limited is totally mad,
Our intelligence is in a recession.

As we drill deeper the dangers increase,
But the powers that be just don't care,
We genuinely don't know just what we'll release,
It's a fact it will lead to despair.

Oil is a fuel that is dwindling fast,
It may last just fifty more years,
Thereafter it will be that thing of the past,
That reduced our planet to tears.

While we waste our talents on dangerous fuels,
Sustainability is what we should seek,
The future will show that Human beings were fools,
Earths future outlook is bleak.

We must find alternatives here and now,
Our future needs are dependent on soil,
Underwater drilling we must not allow,

‘' There's More To Our Lives Than Oil ‘'

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Feel Like A Fool

Every guy that I have seriously liked
in the last 10 years
is married now.
All except two.

I feel like a fool.
Guy #1
seriously messed with
my heart and mind.
He would never admit it.
It took me almost 5 years
to get over him.
Everyone knew I should move on
but I was the last to know.
I thought he was so amazing.
I saw his passion and his
spiritual gifts
and I tried my best
to turn a blind eye
to his faults.
I have so many
of my own,
who am I
to judge another?

He called me
the Proverbs 31 woman.
How did he know
that is the woman
that I aspire to be?
He planned
my birthday party
when others dropped out.
He was the reliable one.
Most of the time
that was not the case.
But that time
he shined.

But he constantly
had me on a tightrope
and he constantly broke his word
and hurt me
over and over
and over.
Eventually, I didn't really want
to put myself out there
Too many guys have
failed me.
It gets old.

Guy #1 eventually moved in
with one of my former best female friends.
Her and her husband.
Unusual, yes.
Eventually she left her husband
and then her and her husband just got divorced.
He tells me they
have a good friendship, healthy.
I know him too well to agree.

I am so glad I am over him
but sometimes,
even now
it can be akward.
I stopped letting him in
and stopped bending over backwards
for a guy
who never appreciated it.
Who never appreciated me.
I just wish we didn't have
so many mutual friends in common.
That is unfortunate.
And I feel like a fool.
I wasted so much time
on him
and he scarred me so.

Then there is Guy #2.
I thought he was so incredible.
I thought he was so talented.
I admired him so much,
and his boldness blew me away.
That is all still true.
It was nice for me
to see that good guys
still existed
and maybe there could be
But I made
two errors in judgment
and grace seemed to be elusive
or at the very least,
it seemed hidden.
I need to be respected
and I need consistent acknowledgement.
The world is not good at that
but I need my guy to be.

Also, I am confident
that he judged me
for several negative actions
that I never did.
Truth be told,
I really am not one
to run after a guy,
especially when I have been too hurt before
and it makes me cry.
I would hope
that he would know
my character better than that,
but, alas,
maybe not.
If he never asked me
and just assumed,
then who am I to point out
that his assumptions are wrong?
I want someone who has
more faith in me
than that.
I still wish
that he has faith left in me.
if that is true
then I need him to show it.

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Thar's More In the Man Than Thar Is In The Land

I knowed a man, which he lived in Jones,
Which Jones is a county of red hills and stones,
And he lived pretty much by gittin' of loans,
And his mules was nuthin' but skin and bones,
And his hogs was flat as his corn-bread pones,
And he had 'bout a thousand acres o' land.

This man -- which his name it was also Jones --
He swore that he'd leave them old red hills and stones,
Fur he couldn't make nuthin' but yallerish cotton,
And little o' THAT, and his fences was rotten,
And what little corn he had, HIT was boughten
And dinged ef a livin' was in the land.

And the longer he swore the madder he got,
And he riz and he walked to the stable lot,
And he hollered to Tom to come thar and hitch
Fur to emigrate somewhar whar land was rich,
And to quit raisin' cock-burrs, thistles and sich,
And a wastin' ther time on the cussed land.

So him and Tom they hitched up the mules,
Pertestin' that folks was mighty big fools
That 'ud stay in Georgy ther lifetime out,
Jest scratchin' a livin' when all of 'em mought
Git places in Texas whar cotton would sprout
By the time you could plant it in the land.

And he driv by a house whar a man named Brown
Was a livin', not fur from the edge o' town,
And he bantered Brown fur to buy his place,
And said that bein' as money was skace,
And bein' as sheriffs was hard to face,
Two dollars an acre would git the land.

They closed at a dollar and fifty cents,
And Jones he bought him a waggin and tents,
And loaded his corn, and his wimmin, and truck,
And moved to Texas, which it tuck
His entire pile, with the best of luck,
To git thar and git him a little land.

But Brown moved out on the old Jones' farm,
And he rolled up his breeches and bared his arm,
And he picked all the rocks from off'n the groun',
And he rooted it up and he plowed it down,
Then he sowed his corn and his wheat in the land.

Five years glid by, and Brown, one day
(Which he'd got so fat that he wouldn't weigh),
Was a settin' down, sorter lazily,
To the bulliest dinner you ever see,
When one o' the children jumped on his knee
And says, 'Yan's Jones, which you bought his land.'

And thar was Jones, standin' out at the fence,
And he hadn't no waggin, nor mules, nor tents,
Fur he had left Texas afoot and cum
To Georgy to see if he couldn't git sum
Employment, and he was a lookin' as hum-
Ble as ef he had never owned any land.

But Brown he axed him in, and he sot
Him down to his vittles smokin' hot,
And when he had filled hisself and the floor
Brown looked at him sharp and riz and swore
That, 'whether men's land was rich or poor
Thar was more in the MAN than thar was in the LAND.'

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William Butler Yeats

The Grey Rock

Poets with whom I learned my trade.
Companions of the Cheshire Cheese,
Here's an old story I've remade,
Imagining 'twould better please
Your cars than stories now in fashion,
Though you may think I waste my breath
Pretending that there can be passion
That has more life in it than death,
And though at bottling of your wine
Old wholesome Goban had no say;
The moral's yours because it's mine.

When cups went round at close of day --
Is not that how good stories run? --
The gods were sitting at the board
In their great house at Slievenamon.
They sang a drowsy song, Or snored,
For all were full of wine and meat.
The smoky torches made a glare
On metal Goban 'd hammered at,
On old deep silver rolling there
Or on somc still unemptied cup
That he, when frenzy stirred his thews,
Had hammered out on mountain top
To hold the sacred stuff he brews
That only gods may buy of him.

Now from that juice that made them wise
All those had lifted up the dim
Imaginations of their eyes,
For one that was like woman made
Before their sleepy eyelids ran
And trembling with her passion said,
'Come out and dig for a dead man,
Who's burrowing Somewhere in the ground
And mock him to his face and then
Hollo him on with horse and hound,
For he is the worst of all dead men.'

We should be dazed and terror-struck,
If we but saw in dreams that room,
Those wine-drenched eyes, and curse our luck
That empticd all our days to come.
I knew a woman none could please,
Because she dreamed when but a child
Of men and women made like these;
And after, when her blood ran wild,
Had ravelled her own story out,
And said, 'In two or in three years
I needs must marry some poor lout,'
And having said it, burst in tears.

Since, tavern comrades, you have died,
Maybe your images have stood,
Mere bone and muscle thrown aside,
Before that roomful or as good.
You had to face your ends when young -
'Twas wine or women, or some curse -
But never made a poorer song
That you might have a heavier purse,
Nor gave loud service to a cause
That you might have a troop of friends,
You kept the Muses' sterner laws,
And unrepenting faced your ends,
And therefore earned the right - and yet
Dowson and Johnson most I praise -
To troop with those the world's forgot,
And copy their proud steady gaze.

'The Danish troop was driven out
Between the dawn and dusk,' she said;
'Although the event was long in doubt.
Although the King of Ireland's dead
And half the kings, before sundown
All was accomplished.

'When this day
Murrough, the King of Ireland's son,
Foot after foot was giving way,
He and his best troops back to back
Had perished there, but the Danes ran,
Stricken with panic from the attack,
The shouting of an unseen man;
And being thankful Murrough found,
Led by a footsole dipped in blood
That had made prints upon the ground,
Where by old thorn-trees that man stood;
And though when he gazed here and there,
He had but gazed on thorn-trees, spoke,
"Who is the friend that seems but air
And yet could give so fine a stroke?"
Thereon a young man met his eye,
Who said, "Because she held me in
Her love, and would not have me die,
Rock-nurtured Aoife took a pin,
And pushing it into my shirt,
Promised that for a pin's sake
No man should see to do me hurt;
But there it's gone; I will not take
The fortune that had been my shame
Seeing, King's son, what wounds you have."
'Twas roundly spoke, but when night came
He had betrayed me to his grave,
For he and the King's son were dead.
I'd promised him two hundred years,
And when for all I'd done or said --
And these immortal eyes shed tears --
He claimed his country's need was most,
I'd saved his life, yet for the sake
Of a new friend he has turned a ghost.
What does he cate if my heart break?
I call for spade and horse and hound
That we may harry him.' Thereon
She cast herself upon the ground
And rent her clothes and made her moan:
'Why are they faithless when their might
Is from the holy shades that rove
The grey rock and the windy light?
Why should the faithfullest heart most love
The bitter sweetness of false faces?
Why must the lasting love what passes,
Why are the gods by men betrayed?'

But thereon every god stood up
With a slow smile and without sound,
And Stretching forth his arm and cup
To where she moaned upon the ground,
Suddenly drenched her to the skin;
And she with Goban's wine adrip,
No more remembering what had been.
Stared at the gods with laughing lip.

I have kept my faith, though faith was tried,
To that rock-born, rock-wandering foot,
And thc world's altered since you died,
And I am in no good repute
With the loud host before the sea,
That think sword-strokes were better meant
Than lover's music -- let that be,
So that the wandering foot's content.

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Henry Van Dyke

The Vain King

In robes of Tyrian blue the King was drest,
A jewelled collar shone upon his breast,
A giant ruby glittered in his crown -----
Lord of rich lands and many a splendid town.
In him the glories of an ancient line
Of sober kings, who ruled by right divine,
Were centred; and to him with loyal awe
The people looked for leadership and law.
Ten thousand knights, the safeguard of the land,
Lay like a single sword within his hand;
A hundred courts, with power of life and death,
Proclaimed decrees justice by his breath;
And all the sacred growths that men had known
Of order and of rule upheld his throne.

Proud was the King: yet not with such a heart
As fits a man to play a royal part.
Not his the pride that honours as a trust
The right to rule, the duty to be just:
Not his the dignity that bends to bear
The monarch's yoke, the master's load of care,
And labours like the peasant at his gate,
To serve the people and protect the State.
Another pride was his, and other joys:
To him the crown and sceptre were but toys,
With which he played at glory's idle game,
To please himself and win the wreaths of fame.
The throne his fathers held from age to age
Built for King Martin to diplay at will,
His mighty strength and universal skill.

No conscious child, that, spoiled with praising, tries
At every step to win admiring eyes, ----
No favourite mountebank, whose acting draws
From gaping crowds loud thunder of applause,
Was vainer than the King: his only thirst
Was to be hailed, in every race, the first.
When tournament was held, in knightly guise
The King would ride the lists and win the prize;
When music charmed the court, with golden lyre
The King would take the stage and lead the choir;
In hunting, his the lance to slay the boar;
In hawking, see his falcon highest soar;
In painting, he would wield the master's brush;
In high debate, -----"the King is speaking! Hush!"
Thus, with a restless heart, in every field
He sought renown, and found his subjects yield
As if he were a demi-god revealed.

But while he played the petty games of life
His kingdom fell a prey to inward strife;
Corruption through the court unheeded crept,
And on the seat of honour justice slept.
The strong trod down the weak; the helpless poor
Groaned under burdens grievous to endure.
The nation's wealth was spent in vain display,
And weakness wore the nation's heart away.

Yet think not Earth is blind to human woes ---
Man has more friends and helpers than he knows;
And when a patient people are oppressed,
The land that bore them feels it in her breast.
Spirits of field and flood, of heath and hill,
Are grieved and angry at the spreading ill;
The trees complain together in the night,
Voices of wrath are heard along the height,
And secret vows are sworn, by stream and strand,
To bring the tyrant low and liberate the land.

But little recked the pampered King of these;
He heard no voice but such as praise and please.
Flattered and fooled, victor in every sport,
One day he wandered idly with his court
Beside the river, seeking to devise
New ways to show his skill to wondering eyes.
There in the stream a patient fisher stood,
And cast his line across the rippling flood.
His silver spoil lay near him on the green:
"Such fish," the courtiers cried, "were never seen!"
"Three salmon larger than a cloth-yard shaft---
"This man must be the master of his craft!"
"An easy art!" the jealous King replied:
"Myself could learn it better, if I tried,
"And catch a hundred larger fish a week---
"Wilt thou accept the challenge, fellow? Speak!"
The fisher turned, came near, and bent his knee:
"'Tis not for kings to strive with such as me;
"Yet if the King commands it, I obey.
"But one condition of the strife I pray:
"The fisherman who brings the least to land
"Shall do whate'er the other may command."
Loud laughed the King: "A foolish fisher thou!
"For I shall win and rule thee then as now."

So to Prince John, a sober soul, sedate
And slow, King Martin left the helm of state,
While to the novel game with eager zest
He all his time and all his powers addrest.
Sure such a sight was never seen before!
For robed and crowned the monarch trod the shore;
His golden hooks were decked with feathers fine,
His jewelled reel ran out a silken line.
With kingly strokes he flogged the crystal stream,
Far-off the salmon saw his tackle gleam;
Careless of kings, they eyed with calm disdain
The gaudy lure, and Martin fished in vain.
On Friday, when the week was almost spent,
He scanned his empty creel with discontent,
Called for a net, and cast it far and wide,
And drew --- a thousand minnows from the tide!
Then came the fisher to conclude the match,
And at the monarch's feet spread out his catch ---
A hundred salmon, greater than before ---
"I win!" he cried: "the King must pay the score."
Then Martin, angry, threw his tackle down:
"Rather than lose this game I'd lose me crown!"

"Nay, thou has lost them both," the fisher said;
And as he spoke a wondrous light was shed
Around his form; he dropped his garments mean,
And in his place the River-god was seen.
"Thy vanity hast brought thee in my power,
"And thou shalt pay the forfeit at this hour:
"For thou hast shown thyself a royal fool,
"Too proud to angle, and too vain to rule.
"Eager to win in every trivial strife, ---
"Go! Thou shalt fish for minnows all thy life!"
Wrathful, the King the scornful sentence heard;
He strove to answer, but he only chirr-r-ed:
His Tyrian robe was changed to wings of blue,
His crown became a crest, --- away he flew!

And still, along the reaches of the stream,
The vain King-fisher flits, an azure gleam, ---
You see his ruby crest, you hear his jealous scream.

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