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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 4 - 4/53 -


We parted: months and years rolled by; We met again four summers after. Our parting was all sob and sigh, - Our meeting was all mirth and laughter; For, in my heart's most secret cell, There had been many other lodgers; And she was not the ball-room's belle, But only Mrs. - Something - Rogers.

Winthrop Mackworth Praed [1802-1839]

THE FINE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN

I'll sing you a good old song, Made by a good old pate, Of a fine old English gentleman Who had an old estate, And who kept up his old mansion At a bountiful old rate; With a good old porter to relieve The old poor at his gate, Like a fine old English gentleman All of the olden time.

His hall so old was hung around With pikes and guns and bows, And swords, and good old bucklers, That had stood some tough old blows; 'Twas there "his worship" held his state In doublet and trunk hose, And quaffed his cup of good old sack, To warm his good old nose, Like a fine old English gentleman All of the olden time.

When winter's cold brought frost and snow, He opened house to all; And though threescore and ten his years, He featly led the ball; Nor was the houseless wanderer E'er driven from his hall; For while he feasted all the great, He ne'er forgot the small; Like a fine old English gentleman All of the olden time.

But time, though old, is strong in flight, And years rolled swiftly by; And Autumn's falling leaves proclaimed This good old man must die! He laid him down right tranquilly, Gave up life's latest sigh; And mournful stillness reigned around, And tears bedewed each eye, For this fine old English gentleman All of the olden time.

Now surely this is better far Than all the new parade Of theaters and fancy balls, "At home" and masquerade: And much more economical, For all his bills were paid, Then leave your new vagaries quite, And take up the old trade Of a fine old English gentleman, All of the olden time.

Unknown

A TERNARIE OF LITTLES, UPON A PIPKIN OF JELLY SENT TO A LADY

A Little Saint best fits a little Shrine, A little Prop best fits a little Vine, As my small Cruse best fits my little Wine.

A little Seed best fits a little Soil, A little Trade best fits a little Toil, As my small Jar best fits my little Oil.

A little Bin best fits a little Bread, A little Garland fits a little Head, As my small Stuff best fits my little Shed.

A little Hearth best fits a little Fire, A little Chapel fits a little Quire, As my small Bell best fits my little Spire.

A little Stream best fits a little Boat, A little Lead best fits a little Float, As my small Pipe best fits my little Note.

A little Meat best fits a little Belly, As sweetly, lady, give me leave to tell ye, This little Pipkin fits this little Jelly.

Robert Herrick [1591-1674]

CHIVALRY AT A DISCOUNT

Fair cousin mine! the golden days Of old romance are over; And minstrels now care naught for bays, Nor damsels for a lover; And hearts are cold, and lips are mute That kindled once with passion, And now we've neither lance nor lute, And tilting's out of fashion.

Yet weeping Beauty mourns the time When Love found words in flowers; When softest test sighs were breathed in rhyme, And sweetest songs in bowers; Now wedlock is a sober thing - No more of chains or forges! - A plain young man - a plain gold ring - The curate - and St. George's.

Then every cross-bow had a string, And every heart a fetter; And making love was quite the thing, And making verses better; And maiden-aunts were never seen, And gallant beaux were plenty; And lasses married at sixteen, And died at one-and-twenty.

Then hawking was a noble sport, And chess a pretty science; And huntsmen learned to blow a morte, And heralds a defiance; And knights and spearmen showed their might, And timid hinds took warning; And hypocras was warmed at night, And coursers in the morning.

Then plumes and pennons were prepared, And patron-saints were lauded; And noble deeds were bravely dared, And noble dames applauded; And Beauty played the leech's part, And wounds were healed with syrup; And warriors sometimes lost a heart, But never lost a stirrup.

Then there was no such thing as Fear, And no such word as Reason; And Faith was like a pointed spear, And Fickleness was treason; And hearts were soft, though blows were hard; But when the fight was over, A brimming goblet cheered the board, His Lady's smile the lover.

Ay, those were golden days! The moon Had then her true adorers; And there were lyres and lutes in tune, And no such thing as snorers; And lovers swam, and held at naught Streams broader than the Mersey; And fifty thousand would have fought For a smile from Lady Jersey.

Then people wore an iron vest, And bad no use for tailors; And the artizans who lived the best Were armorers and nailers; And steel was measured by the ell And trousers lined with leather; And jesters wore a cap and bell, And knights a cap and feather.

Then single folks might live at ease, And married ones might sever; Uncommon doctors had their fees, But Doctor's Commons never; O! had we in those times been bred, Fair cousin, for thy glances, Instead of breaking Priscian's head, I had been breaking lances!

Edward Fitzgerald [1809-1883]

THE BALLAD OF BOUILLABAISSE

A street there is in Paris famous, For which no rhyme our language yields, Rue Neuve des Petits Champs its name is - The New Street of the Little Fields; And there's an inn, not rich and splendid, But still in comfortable case - The which in youth I oft attended, To eat a bowl of Bouillabaisse.

This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is - A sort of soup, or broth, or brew,


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 4 - 4/53

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