Treasure Island

Ellis Parker Butler

(5 December 1869 - 13 September 1937 / Muscatine / Iowa / United States)

The Ballad Of A Bachelor


Listen, ladies, while I sing
The ballad of John Henry King.

John Henry was a bachelor,
His age was thirty-three or four.

Two maids for his affection vied,
And each desired to be his bride,

And bravely did they strive to bring
Unto their feet John Henry King.

John Henry liked them both so well,
To save his life he could not tell

Which he most wished to be his bride,
Nor was he able to decide.

Fair Kate was jolly, bright, and gay,
And sunny as a summer day;

Marie was kind, sedate, and sweet,
With gentle ways and manners neat.

Each was so dear that John confessed
He could not tell which he liked best.

He studied them for quite a year,
And still found no solution near,

And might have studied two years more
Had he not, walking on the shore,

Conceived a very simple way
Of ending his prolonged delay--

A way in which he might decide
Which of the maids should be his bride.

He said, "I'll toss into the air
A dollar, and I'll toss it fair;

If heads come up, I'll wed Marie;
If tails, fair Kate my bride shall be."

Then from his leather pocket-book
A dollar bright and new he took;

He kissed one side for fair Marie,
The other side for Kate kissed he.

Then in a manner free and fair
He tossed the dollar in the air.

"Ye fates," he cried, "pray let this be
A lucky throw indeed for me!"

The dollar rose, the dollar fell;
He watched its whirling transit well,

And off some twenty yards or more
The dollar fell upon the shore.

John Henry ran to where it struck
To see which maiden was in luck.

But, oh, the irony of fate!
Upon its edge the coin stood straight!

And there, embedded in the sand,
John Henry let the dollar stand!

And he will tempt his fate no more,
But live and die a bachelor.

Thus, ladies, you have heard me sing
The ballad of John Henry King.



Submitted by John Martin

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
1 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: ballad, irony, fate, summer, rose, wedding, kiss, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Ballad Of A Bachelor by Ellis Parker Butler )

Enter the verification code :

  • Lol Boy (6/17/2013 3:33:00 AM)

    lol worse than the 50 shades of grey book. hahaha ellis must have been on drugs when she wrote this BS. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Of Life Is Change, Is It Poetry
  2. Chicken Burger, Angela Wybrow
  3. Take me home, Barbara Dixion
  4. How...?, Ginny Gibbs
  5. gustakhi karke ched gyin uski aankhein, Yashvardhan Goel
  6. mukda, Yashvardhan Goel
  7. No More Yelling, Michael McParland
  8. The Wilderness We Abandon, Robert Rorabeck
  9. Best Lesson, sallam yassin
  10. Our Heavenly Souls, Robert Rorabeck

Poem of the Day

poet Walt Whitman

ARM’D year! year of the struggle!
No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year!
Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas
piano;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  4. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  10. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]