Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
 
Eugene Field. 1850–1895
 
223. In Amsterdam
 
MYNHEER Hans Von Der Bloom has got 
A majazin in Kalverstraat, 
Where one may buy for sordid gold 
Wares quaint and curious, new and old. 
Here are antiquities galore,—         5
The jewels which Dutch monarchs wore, 
Swords, teacups, helmets, platters, clocks, 
Bright Dresden jars, dull Holland crocks, 
And all those joys I might rehearse 
That please the eye, but wreck the purse.  10
  
I most admired an ancient bed, 
With ornate carvings at its head,— 
A massive frame of dingy oak, 
Whose curious size and mould bespoke 
Prodigious age. "How much?" I cried.  15
"Ein tousand gildens," Hans replied; 
And then the honest Dutchman said 
A king once owned that glorious bed,— 
King Fritz der Foorst, of blessed fame, 
Had owned and slept within the same!  20
  
Then long I stood and mutely gazed, 
By reminiscent splendors dazed, 
And I had bought it right away, 
Had I the wherewithal to pay. 
But, lacking of the needed pelf,  25
I thus discoursed within myself: 
"O happy Holland! where 's the bliss 
That can approximate to this 
Possession of the rare antique 
Which maniacs hanker for and seek?  30
My native land is full of stuff 
That 's good, but is not old enough. 
Alas! it has no oaken beds 
Wherein have slumbered royal heads, 
No relic on whose face we see  35
The proof of grand antiquity." 
  
Thus reasoned I a goodly spell 
Until, perchance, my vision fell 
Upon a trademark at the head 
Of Fritz der Foorst's old oaken bed,—  40
A rampant wolverine, and round 
This strange device these words I found: 
"Patent Antique. Birkey & Gay, 
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U. S. A." 
  
At present I 'm not saying much  45
About the simple, guileless Dutch; 
And as it were a loathsome spot 
I keep away from Kalverstraat, 
Determined when I want a bed 
In which hath slept a royal head  50
I 'll patronize no middleman, 
But deal direct with Michigan. 
 
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