20 May 2009


Apart from the wonderful Dr. Seuss books, I'm not a huge fan of poetry but Hubby bought me this little book a few years ago and I must say it's delightful. Entitled The Best Recitations For Ladies - Collected And Arranged By S.C. Johnson M.A. it is only a short book, of what age I'm not sure as there are no actual dates given apart from an inscription on the front cover which reads "To Joyce, July 1944."


The king can drink the best of wine -
So can I;
And has enough when he would dine -
So have I;
And cannot order rain or shine -
Nor can I.
Then where's the difference - let me see -
Betwixt my lord the king and me?

Do trusty friends surround his throne
Night and day?
Or make his interests their own?
No, not they.
Mine love me for myself alone -
Bless'd be they!
And that's the difference which I see
Betwixt the lord my king and me.

Do knaves around me lie in wait
To deceive?
Or fawn and flatter when they hate,
And would grieve?
Or cruel pomps oppress my state
By my leave?
No, Heaven be thanked! And here you see
More differences 'twixt the king and me.

He has his fools , with jests and quips,
When he'd play;
He has his armies and his ships -
Great are they;
But not a child to kiss his lips;
Well -a-day!
And that's the difference sad to see
Betwixt the lord my king and me.

I wear the cap and he the crown -
What of that?
I sleep on straw and he on down -
What of that?
And he's the king and I'm the clown -
What of that?
If happy I , and wretched he,
Perhaps the king would change with me.

Charles Mackay.

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