Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

THE KING'S SON


 

"DAUGHTER, daughter, marry no man,
Though a king's son come to woo,
If he be not more than blessing or ban
To the secret soul of you."

"'T is the King's son, indeed, I ween,

5

And he left me even but now,
And he shall make me a dazzling queen,
With a gold crown on my brow."

"And are you the one that a golden grown,
Or the lust of a name can lure?

10

You had better wed with a country clown,
And keep your young heart pure."

"Mother, the King has sworn, and said
That his son shall wed but me;
And I must gang to the prince's bed,

15

Or a traitor I shall be."

"Oh, what care you for an old man's wrath?
Or what care you for a king?
I had rather you fled on an outlaw's path,
A rebel, a hunted thing."

20


"Mother, it is my father's will,
For the King has promised him fair
A goodly earldom of hollow and hill,
And a coronet to wear."

"Then woe is worth a father's name,

25

For it names your dourest foe!
I had rather you came the child of shame
Than to have you fathered so."

"Mother, I shall have gold enow,
Though love be never mine,

30

To buy all else that the world can show
Of good and fair and fine."

"Oh, what care you for a prince's gold,
Or the key of a kingdom's till?
I had rather see you a harlot bold

35

That sins of her own free will.

"For I have been wife for the stomach's sake,
And I know whereof I say;
A harlot is sold for a passing slake,
But a wife is sold for aye.

40

"Body and soul for a lifetime sell,
And the price of the sale shall be
That you shall be harlot and slave as well
Until Death set you free."