The Duke and the Duchess
Small titles and orders
For Mayors and Recorders
I get - and they're highly delighted.
Sham Colonels gazetted,
And second-rate Aldermen knighted.
I find very paying,
It adds a large sum to my makings.
At charity dinners
The best of speech-spinners,
I get ten per cent on the takings!
I present any lady
Whose conduct is shady
Or smacking of doubtful propriety;
When Virtue would quash her
I take and whitewash her
And launch her in first-rate society.
I recommend acres
Of clumsy dressmakers -
Their fit and their finishing touches;
A sum in addition
They pay for permission
To say that they make for the Duchess!
Those pressing prevailers,
The ready-made tailors,
Quote me as their great double-barrel;
I allow them to do so,
Though ROBINSON CRUSOE
Would jib at their wearing apparel!
I sit, by selection,
Upon the direction
Of several Companies bubble;
As soon as they're floated
I'm freely bank-noted -
I'm pretty well paid for my trouble!
At middle-class party
I play at ECARTE -
And I'm by no means a beginner;
To one of my station
The remuneration -
Five guineas a night and my dinner.
I write letters blatant
On medicines patent -
And use any other you mustn't;
And vow my complexion
Derives its perfection
From somebody's soap - which it doesn't.
We're ready as witness
To any one's fitness
To fill any place or preferment;
We're often in waiting
At junket FETING,
And sometimes attend an interment.
In short, if you'd kindle
The spark of a swindle,
Lure simpletons into your clutches,
Or hoodwink a debtor,
You cannot do better
Than trot out a Duke or a Duchess!
WS Gilbert's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Duke and the Duchess by WS Gilbert )
- Life, Proud SugarBoe
- When You Had Left, Poetic Lilly Emery
- A riddle poem, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
- Help me please, Nassy Fesharaki
- Math Love, Jack Spurlock
- PH: Nature: Canoeing the Mississippi #13, Brian Johnston
- More Precious Than Gold, Erato
- PH: Nature: Canoeing the Mississippi #12, Brian Johnston
- The Thatch Hut., Tony Adah
- This Creature is So Strange, Rohit Sapra
Poem of the Day
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
- It Is the Hour, George Gordon Byron
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Heather Burns
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)