Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The Princess's Finger-Nail: A Tale Of Nonsense Land
All through the Castle of High-bred Ease,
Where the chief employment was do-as-you-please,
Spread consternation and wild despair.
The queen was wringing her hands and hair;
The maids of honor were sad and solemn;
The pages looked blank as they stood in column;
The court-jester blubbered, 'Boo-hoo, boo-hoo';
The cook in the kitchen dropped tears in the stew;
And all through the castle went sob and wail,
For the princess had broken her finger-nail:
The beautiful Princess Red-as-a-Rose,
Bride-elect of the Lord High-Nose,
Broken her finger-nail down to the quick-
No wonder the queen and her court were sick.
Never sorrow so dread before
Had dared to enter that castle door.
Oh! what would my Lord His-High-Nose say
When she took off her glove on her wedding-day?
The fairest princess in Nonsense Land,
With a broken finger-nail on her hand!
'Twas a terrible, terrible accident,
And they called a meeting of parliament;
And never before that royal Court
Had come such question of grave import
As 'How could you hurry a nail to grow?'
And the skill of the kingdom was called to show.
They sent for Monsieur File-'em-off;
He smoothed down the corners so ragged and rough.
They sent for Madame la Diamond-Dust,
Who lived on the fingers of upper-crust;
They sent for Professor de Chamois-Skin,
Who took her powder and rubbed it in;
They sent for the pudgy nurse Fat-on-the-bone
To bathe her finger in eau de Cologne;
And they called the Court surgeon, Monsieur Red-Tape,
To hear what he thought of the new nail's shape.
Over the kingdom the telegrams flew
Which told how the finger-nail thrived and grew;
And all through the realm of Nonsense Land
They offered up prayers for the princess's hand.
At length the glad tidings were heard with a shout
That the princess's finger-nail had grown out:
Pointed and polished and pink and clean,
Befitting the hand of a some-day queen.
Salutes were fired all over the land
By the home-guard battery pop-gun band;
And great was the joy of my Lord High-Nose,
Who straightway ordered his wedding clothes,
And paid his tailor, Don Wait-for-aye,
Who died of amazement the self-same day.
My lord by a jury was judged insane;
For they said, and the truth of the saying was plain,
That a lord of such very high pedigree
Would never be paying his bills, you see,
Unless he was out of his head; and so
They locked him up without more ado.
And the beautiful Princess Red-as-a-Rose
Pined for her lover, my Lord High-Nose,
Till she entered a convent and took the veil-
And this is the end of my nonsense tale.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Princess's Finger-Nail: A Tale Of Nonsense Land by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
Poem of the Day
- Howdy! Howdy!, Abekah Emmanuel
- In Search of the Woman Thing, David Lewis Paget
- A Shadows Whisper, Spiritwind Wood
- My Hand In Yours, Michael P. McParland
- Little Stick Figures, Margaret Alice Second
- Racquets in Two-More, douglas scotney
- Life is drizzling, Amit Mathur
- Out Of My Head, Anuradha Singh
- Revealing life in Death, Angell Afinowi
- The Jujube Tree And Me, Madathil Nair