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
The Fine Old English Gentleman
Anonymous
 
I ’LL 1 sing you a good old song,
  Made by a good old pate,
Of a fine old English gentleman
  Who had an old estate,
And who kept up his old mansion        5
  At a bountiful old rate;
With a good old porter to relieve
  The old poor at his gate,
Like a fine old English gentleman
  All of the olden time.        10
 
His hall so old was hung around
  With pikes and guns and bows,
And swords, and good old bucklers,
  That had stood some tough old blows;
’T was there “his worship” held his state        15
  In doublet and trunk hose,
And quaffed his cup of good old sack,
  To warm his good old nose,
          Like a fine, etc.
 
When winter’s cold brought frost and snow,
  He opened house to all;        20
And though threescore and ten his years,
  He featly led the ball;
Nor was the houseless wanderer
  E’er driven from his hall;
For while he feasted all the great,        25
  He ne’er forgot the small;
          Like a fine, etc.
 
But time, though old, is strong in flight,
  And years rolled swiftly by;
And Autumn’s falling leaves proclaimed
  This good old man must die!        30
He laid him down right tranquilly,
  Gave up life’s latest sigh;
And mournful stillness reigned around,
  And tears bedewed each eye,
          For this good, etc.
 
Now surely this is better far        35
  Than all the new parade
Of theatres and fancy balls,
  “At home” and masquerade:
And much more economical,
  For all his bills were paid.        40
Then leave your new vagaries quite,
  And take up the old trade
Of a fine old English gentleman,
  All of the olden time.
 
Note 1. Modelled upon an old black-letter song, called “The Old and Young Courtier.” [back]
 
 
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