William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray Poems

KING CANUTE was weary hearted; he had reigned for years a score,
Battling, struggling, pushing, fighting, killing much and robbing more;

There lived a sage in days of yore,
And he a handsome pigtail wore;
But wondered much and sorrowed more,
Because it hung behind him.

Persicos odi
Puer, apparatus;
Displicent nexae
Philyra coronae:

Come to the greenwood tree,
Come where the dark woods be,
Dearest, O come with me!
Let us rove—O my love—O my love!

Although I enter not,
Yet round about the spot,
Ofttimes I hover,
And near the sacred gate,

Werther had a love for Charlotte
Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
She was cutting bread and butter.

Christmas is here:
Winds whistle shrill,
Icy and chill,
Little care we:

For the sole edification
Of this decent congregation,
Goodly people, by your grant
I will sing a holy chant --

Beside the old hall-fire—upon my nurse's knee,
Of happy fairy days—what tales were told to me!

Special Jurymen of England! who admire your country's laws,
And proclaim a British Jury worthy of the realm's applause;

You've all heard of Larry O'Toole,
Of the beautiful town of Drumgoole;
He had but one eye,
To ogle ye by—

Dear Jack, this white mug that with Guinness I fill,
And drink to the health of sweet Nan of the Hill,
Was once Tommy Tosspot's, as jovial a sot

Returning from the cruel fight
How pale and faint appears my knight!
He sees me anxious at his side;
'Why seek, my love, your wounds to hide?

A street there is in Paris famous,
For which no rhyme our language yields,
Rue Neuve de petits Champs its name is -
The New Street of the Little Fields;

Ah! bleak and barren was the moor,
Ah! loud and piercing was the storm,
The cottage roof was shelter'd sure,

Je viens revoir l'asile ou ma jeunesse
De la misere a subi les lecons.
J'avais vingt ans, une folle maitresse,

The castle towers of Bareacres are fair upon the lea,
Where the cliffs of bonny Diddlesex rise up from out the sea:

Before I lost my five poor wits,
I mind me of a Romish clerk,
Who sang how Care, the phantom dark,
Beside the belted horseman sits....

No more, thou lithe and long-winged hawk, of desert-life for thee;
No more across the sultry sands shalt thou go swooping free:

Il etait un roi d'Yvetot,
Peu connu dans l'histoire;
Se levant tard, se couchant tot,

The Best Poem Of William Makepeace Thackeray

King Canute

KING CANUTE was weary hearted; he had reigned for years a score,
Battling, struggling, pushing, fighting, killing much and robbing more;
And he thought upon his actions, walking by the wild sea-shore.

'Twixt the Chancellor and Bishop walked the King with steps sedate,
Chamberlains and grooms came after, silversticks and goldsticks great,
Chaplains, aides-de-camp, and pages,—all the officers of state.

Sliding after like his shadow, pausing when he chose to pause,
If a frown his face contracted, straight the courtiers dropped their jaws;
If to laugh the king was minded, out they burst in loud hee-haws.

But that day a something vexed him, that was clear to old and young:
Thrice his Grace had yawned at table, when his favorite gleemen sung,
Once the Queen would have consoled him, but he bade her hold her tongue.

'Something ails my gracious master,' cried the Keeper of the Seal.
'Sure, my lord, it is the lampreys served to dinner, or the veal?'
'Psha!' exclaimed the angry monarch, 'Keeper, 'tis not that I feel.

''Tis the HEART, and not the dinner, fool, that doth my rest impair:
Can a king be great as I am, prithee, and yet know no care?
Oh, I'm sick, and tired, and weary.'—Some one cried, 'The King's arm-chair!'

Then towards the lackeys turning, quick my Lord the Keeper nodded,
Straight the King's great chair was brought him, by two footmen able-bodied;
Languidly he sank into it: it was comfortably wadded.

'Leading on my fierce companions,' cried he, 'over storm and brine,
I have fought and I have conquered! Where was glory like to mine?'
Loudly all the courtiers echoed: 'Where is glory like to thine?'

'What avail me all my kingdoms? Weary am I now and old;
Those fair sons I have begotten, long to see me dead and cold;
Would I were, and quiet buried, underneath the silent mould!

'Oh, remorse, the writhing serpent! at my bosom tears and bites;
Horrid, horrid things I look on, though I put out all the lights;
Ghosts of ghastly recollections troop about my bed at nights.

'Cities burning, convents blazing, red with sacrilegious fires;
Mothers weeping, virgins screaming vainly for their slaughtered sires.—'
Such a tender conscience,' cries the Bishop, 'every one admires.

'But for such unpleasant bygones, cease, my gracious lord, to search,
They're forgotten and forgiven by our Holy Mother Church;
Never, never does she leave her benefactors in the lurch.

'Look! the land is crowned with minsters, which your Grace's bounty raised;
Abbeys filled with holy men, where you and Heaven are daily praised:
YOU, my lord, to think of dying? on my conscience I'm amazed!'

'Nay, I feel,' replied King Canute, 'that my end is drawing near.'
'Don't say so,' exclaimed the courtiers (striving each to squeeze a tear).
'Sure your Grace is strong and lusty, and may live this fifty year.'

'Live these fifty years!' the Bishop roared, with actions made to suit.
'Are you mad, my good Lord Keeper, thus to speak of King Canute!
Men have lived a thousand years, and sure his Majesty will do't.

'Adam, Enoch, Lamech, Cainan, Mahaleel, Methusela,
Lived nine hundred years apiece, and mayn't the King as well as they?'
'Fervently,' exclaimed the Keeper, 'fervently I trust he may.'

'HE to die?' resumed the Bishop. He a mortal like to US?
Death was not for him intended, though communis omnibus:
Keeper, you are irreligious, for to talk and cavil thus.

'With his wondrous skill in healing ne'er a doctor can compete,
Loathsome lepers, if he touch them, start up clean upon their feet;
Surely he could raise the dead up, did his Highness think it meet.

'Did not once the Jewish captain stay the sun upon the hill,
And, the while he slew the foemen, bid the silver moon stand still?
So, no doubt, could gracious Canute, if it were his sacred will.'

'Might I stay the sun above us, good sir Bishop?' Canute cried;
'Could I bid the silver moon to pause upon her heavenly ride?
If the moon obeys my orders, sure I can command the tide.

'Will the advancing waves obey me, Bishop, if I make the sign?'
Said the Bishop, bowing lowly, 'Land and sea, my lord, are thine.'
Canute turned towards the ocean—'Back!' he said, 'thou foaming brine.

'From the sacred shore I stand on, I command thee to retreat;
Venture not, thou stormy rebel, to approach thy master's seat:
Ocean, be thou still! I bid thee come not nearer to my feet!'

But the sullen ocean answered with a louder, deeper roar,
And the rapid waves drew nearer, falling sounding on the shore;
Back the Keeper and the Bishop, back the king and courtiers bore.

And he sternly bade them never more to kneel to human clay,
But alone to praise and worship That which earth and seas obey:
And his golden crown of empire never wore he from that day.
King Canute is dead and gone: Parasites exist alway.

William Makepeace Thackeray Comments

William Makepeace Thackeray Quotes

Kindnesses are easily forgotten; but injuries!—what worthy man does not keep those in mind?

Despair is perfectly compatible with a good dinner, I promise you.

It is best to love wisely, no doubt: but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all.

It is impossible, in our condition of Society, not to be sometimes a Snob.

It is to the middle-class we must look for the safety of England.

'Tis strange what a man may do, and a woman yet think him an angel.

'Tis strange what a man may do, and a woman yet think him an angel.

What money is better bestowed than that of a schoolboy's tip? How the kindness is recalled by the recipient in after days! It blesses him that gives and him that takes.

There is no good ... in living in a society where you are merely the equal of everybody else.... The true pleasure of life is to live with your inferiors.

I would rather make my name than inherit it.

Whenever he met a great man he grovelled before him, and my-lorded him as only a free-born Briton can do.

Come children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out.

William Makepeace Thackeray Popularity

William Makepeace Thackeray Popularity

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