Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

Falstaff's Lament Over Prince Hal Become Henry V - Poem by Herman Melville

One that I cherished,
Yea, loved as a son -
Up early, up late with,
My promising one:
No use in good nurture,
None, lads, none!

Here on this settle
He wore the true crown,
King of good fellows,
And Fat Jack was one -
Now, Beadle of England
In formal array -
Best fellow alive
On a throne flung away!

Companions and cronies
Keep fast and lament; -
Come, drawer, more sack here
To drown discontent;
For now intuitions
Shall wither to codes,
Pragmatized morals
Shall libel the gods.

One I instructed,
Yea, talked to -alone:
Precept -example
Clean away thrown!

Sorrow makes thirsty:
Sack, drawer, more sack! -
One that I prayed for,
I, Honest Jack!

To bring down these grey hairs -
To cut his old pal!
But, I'll be magnanimous -
Here's to thee Hal!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 30, 2012

Poem Edited: Monday, April 30, 2012


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