Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
 
Yvetot
The King of Yvetot
Pierre-Jean de Béranger (1780–1857)
 
Translated by John Oxenford

THERE was a King of Yvetot,
  Who, little famed in story,
Went soon to bed, to rise was slow,
  And slumbered without glory.
’T was Jenny crowned this jolly chap        5
With nothing but a cotton cap,
          Mayhap.
Ho! ho! ho! ho! ha! ha! ha! ha!
What a famous king was he, O la!
 
Within his thatchéd palace he        10
  Consumed his four meals daily;
He rode about his realm to see,
  Upon a donkey, gayly;
Besides his dog, no guard he had,
He hoped for good when things were bad,—        15
          Ne’er sad.
Ho! ho! ho! ho! ha! ha! ha! ha!
What a famous king was he, O la!
 
No costly tastes his soul possessed
  Except a taste for drinking,        20
And kings who make their subjects blest
  Should live well, to my thinking.
At table he his taxes got,
From every cask he took a pot
          I wot.        25
Ho! ho! ho! ho! ha! ha! ha! ha!
What a famous king was this, O la!
 
He did not widen his estates
  Beyond their proper measure;
A model of all potentates,        30
  His only code was pleasure.
And ’t was not till the day he died
His faithful subjects ever sighed,
          Or cried.
Ho! ho! ho! ho! ha! ha! ha! ha!        35
What a famous king was he, O la!
 
This wise and worthy monarch’s face
  Is still in preservation,
And as a sign it serves to grace
  An inn of reputation.        40
On holidays a joyous rout
Before it pushed their mugs about
          And shout.
Ho! ho! ho! ho! ha! ha! ha! ha!
What a famous king was he, O la!        45
 
 
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