A Jongleur Strayed eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about A Jongleur Strayed.

OLIVER HERFORD

  I

  An echo from Horace

  Lusisti est, et edisti, atque bibisti;
  Tempus abire, tibi est.

  Take away the dancing girls, quench the lights, remove
    Golden cups and garlands sere, all the feast; away
  Lutes and lyres and Lalage; close the gates, above
    Write upon the lintel this; Time is done for play! 
  Thou hast had thy fill of love, eaten, drunk; the show
  Ends at last, ’twas long enough—­time it is to go.

  Thou hast played—­ah! heart, how long!—­past all count were they,
    Girls of gold and ivory, bosomed deep, all snow,
  Leopard swift, and velvet loined, bronze for hair, wild clay
    Turning at a touch to flame, tense as a strung bow. 
  Cruel as the circling hawk, tame at last as dove,—­
  Thou hast had thy fill and more than enough of love.

  Thou hast eaten; peacock’s tongues,—­fed thy carp with slaves,—­
    Nests of Asiatic birds, brought from far Cathay,
  Umbrian boars, and mullet roes snatched from stormy waves;
    Half thy father’s lands have gone one strange meal to pay;
  For a morsel on thy plate ravished sea and shore;
  Thou hast eaten—­’tis enough, thou shalt eat no more.

  Thou hast drunk—­how hast thou drunk! mighty vats, whole seas;
    Vineyards purpling half a world turned to gold thy throat,
  Falernian, true Massic, the gods’ own vintages,
    Lakes thou hast swallowed deep enough galleys tall to float;
  Wildness, wonder, wisdom, all, drunkenness divine,
  All that dreams within the grape, madness too, were thine.

  Time it is to go and sleep—­draw the curtains close—­
    Tender strings shall lull thee still, mellow flutes be blown,
  Still the spring shall shower down on thy couch the rose,
    Still the laurels crown thine head, where thou dreamest alone. 
  Thou didst play, and thou didst eat, thou hast drunken deep,
  Time at last it is to go, time it is to sleep.

  Ballade of the oldest Duel in the world

  A battered swordsman, slashed and scarred,
    I scarce had thought to fight again,
  But love of the old game dies hard,
    So to’t, my lady, if you’re fain! 
    I’m scarce the mettle to refrain,
  I’ll ask no quarter from your art—­
    But what if we should both be slain! 
  I fight you, darling, for your heart.

  I warn you, though, be on your guard,
    Nor an old swordsman’s craft disdain,
  He jests at scars—­what saith the Bard? 
    Love’s wounds are real, and fierce the pain;
    If we should die of love, we twain! 
  You laugh—­en garde then—­so we start;
    Cyrano-like, here’s my refrain: 
  I fight you, darling, for your heart.

  If compliments I interlard
    Twixt feint and lunge, you’ll not complain
  Lacking your eyes, the night’s un-starred,
    The rose is beautiful in vain,
    In vain smells sweet—­Rose-in-the-Brain,
  Dizzying the world—­a touch! sweet smart!—­
    Only the envoi doth remain: 
  I fight you, darling, for your heart.

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A Jongleur Strayed from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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