Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
 
Humorous Poems: II. Miscellaneous
I Am a Friar of Orders Gray
John O’Keeffe (1747–1833)
 
From the Opera of “Robin Hood”

I AM a friar of orders gray,
And down in the valleys I take my way;
I pull not blackberry, haw, or hip,—
Good store of venison fills my scrip;
My long bead-roll I merrily chant;        5
Where’er I walk no money I want;
And why I ’m so plump the reason I tell,—
Who leads a good life is sure to live well.
      What baron or squire,
      Or knight of the shire,        10
      Lives half so well as a holy friar?
 
After supper of heaven I dream,
But that is a pullet and clouted cream;
Myself, by denial, I mortify—
With a dainty bit of a warden-pie;        15
I ’m clothed in sackcloth for my sin,—
With old sack wine I ’m lined within;
A chirping cup is my matin song,
And the vesper’s bell is my bowl, ding dong.
      What baron or squire,        20
      Or knight of the shire,
      Lives half so well as a holy friar?
 
 
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