Flint and Feather

by Emily Pauline Johnson


 

WHEN GEORGE WAS KING


 

Cards, and swords, and a lady’s love,
That is a tale worth reading,
An insult veiled, a downcast glove,
And rapiers leap unheeding.
        And ’tis O! for the brawl,
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        The thrust, the fall,
And the foe at your feet a-bleeding.

Tales of revel at wayside inns,
The goblets gaily filling,
Braggarts boasting a thousand sins,
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Though none can boast a shilling.
        And ’tis O! for the wine,
        The frothing stein,
And the clamour of cups a-spilling.

Tales of maidens in rich brocade,
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Powder and puff and patches,
Gallants lilting a serenade
Of old-time trolls and catches.
        And ’tis O! for the lips
        And the finger tips,
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And the kiss that the boldest snatches. [Page 151]

Tales of buckle and big rosette,
The slender shoe adorning,
Of curtseying through the minuet
With laughter, love, or scorning.
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        And ’tis O! for the shout
        Of the roustabout,
As he hies him home in the morning.

Cards and swords, and a lady’s love,
Give to the tale God-speeding,
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War and wassail, and perfumed glove,
And all that’s rare in reading.
        And ’tis O! for the ways
        Of the olden days,
And a life that was worth the leading. [Page 152]
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