The Prologue

To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings,
Of cities founded, commonwealths begun,
For my mean pen are too superior things:
Or how they all, or each, their dates have run;
Let poets and historians set these forth,
My obscure lines shall not so dim their work.

But when my wondering eyes and envious heart
Great Bartas' sugared lines do but read o'er,
Fool I do grudge the Muses did not part
'Twixt him and me that overfluent store;--
A Bartas can do what a Bartas will,
But simple I according to my skill.


The Prisoner of Zenda

At the end a
"The Prisoner of Zenda,"
The King being out of danger,
Stewart Granger
(As Rudolph Rassendyll)
Must swallow a bitter pill
By renouncing his co-star,
Deborah Kerr.

It would be poor behavia
In him and in Princess Flavia
Were they to put their own
Concerns before those of the Throne.
Deborah Kerr must wed
The King instead.

Rassendyll turns to go.
Must it be so?
Why can’t they have their cake
And eat it, for heaven’s sake?


The Prisoner

Still let my tyrants know, I am not doomed to wear
Year after year in gloom and desolate despair;
A messenger of Hope comes every night to me,
And offers for short life, eternal liberty.

He comes with western winds, with evening's wandering airs,
With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars:
Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire,
And visions rise, and change, that kill me with desire.

Desire for nothing known in my maturer years,
When Joy grew mad with awe, at counting future tears:


The Princess part 2

At break of day the College Portress came:
She brought us Academic silks, in hue
The lilac, with a silken hood to each,
And zoned with gold; and now when these were on,
And we as rich as moths from dusk cocoons,
She, curtseying her obeisance, let us know
The Princess Ida waited: out we paced,
I first, and following through the porch that sang
All round with laurel, issued in a court
Compact of lucid marbles, bossed with lengths
Of classic frieze, with ample awnings gay


The Portent

Hanging from the beam,
Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on the green,
Shenandoah!
The cut is on the crown
(Lo, John Brown),
And the stabs shall heal no more.

Hidden in the cap
Is the anguish none can draw;
So your future veils its face,
Shenandoah!
But the streaming beard is shown
(Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.


The Pilgrims

Who is your lady of love, O ye that pass
Singing? and is it for sorrow of that which was
That ye sing sadly, or dream of what shall be?
For gladly at once and sadly it seems ye sing.
--Our lady of love by you is unbeholden;
For hands she hath none, nor eyes, nor lips, nor golden
Treasure of hair, nor face nor form; but we
That love, we know her more fair than anything.
--Is she a queen, having great gifts to give?
--Yea, these; that whoso hath seen her shall not live


The Past

I fling the past behind me, like a robe
Worn threadbare at the seams, and out of date.
I have outgrown it. Wherefore should I weep
And dwell upon its beauty, and its dyes
Of oriental splendor, or complain
That I must needs discard it? I can weave
Upon the shuttles of the future years
A fabric far more durable. Subdued,
It may be, in the blending of its hues,
Where somber shades commingle, yet the gleam
Of golden warp shall shoot it through and through,
While over all a fadeless luster lies,


The Plea of the Simla Dancers

Too late, alas! the song
To remedy the wrong; --
The rooms are taken from us, swept and
garnished for their fate.
But these tear-besprinkled pages
Shall attest to future ages
That we cried against the crime of it --
too late, alas! too late!



"What have we ever done to bear this grudge?"
Was there no room save only in Benmore
For docket, duftar, and for office drudge,
That you usurp our smoothest dancing floor?
Must babus do their work on polished teak?


The Politician

Carven in leathern mask or brazen face,
Were I time's sculptor, I would set this man.
Retreating from the truth, his hawk-eyes scan
The platforms of all public thought for place.
There wriggling with insinuating grace,
He takes poor hope and effort by the hand,
And flatters with half-truths and accents bland,
Till even zeal and earnest love grow base.

Knowing no right, save power's grim right-of-way;
No nobleness, save life's ignoble praise;


The Poet's Dead

The Poet's dead! - a slave to honor -
He fell, by rumor slandered,
Lead in his breast and thirsting for revenge,
Hanging his proud head!...
The Poet's soul could not endure
Petty insult's disgrace.
Against society he rose,
Alone, as always...and was slain!
Slain!...What use is weeping now,
The futile chorus of empty praise
Excuses mumbled full of pathos?
Fate has pronounced its sentence!
Was it not you who spitefully
Rebuffed his free, courageous gift
And for your own amusement fanned


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