Kraj Majales (King Of May) – Allen Ginsberg

And the Communists have nothing to offer but fat cheeks and eyeglasses and
lying policemen
and the Capitalists proffer Napalm and money in green suitcases to the
Naked,
and the Communists create heavy industry but the heart is also heavy
and the beautiful engineers are all dead, the secret technicians conspire for
their own glamour
in the Future, in the Future, but now drink vodka and lament the Security
Forces,
and the Capitalists drink gin and whiskey on airplanes but let Indian brown
millions starve
and when Communist and Capitalist assholes tangle the Just man is arrested
or robbed or has his head cut off,
but not like Kabir, and the cigarette cough of the Just man above the clouds
in the bright sunshine is a salute to the health of the blue sky.
For I was arrested thrice in Prague, once for singing drunk on Narodni
street,
once knocked down on the midnight pavement by a mustached agent who
screamed out BOUZERANT,
once for losing my notebooks of unusual sex politics dream opinions,
and I was sent from Havana by planes by detectives in green uniform,
and I was sent from Prague by plane by detectives in Czechoslovakian
business suits,
Cardplayers out of Cezanne, the two strange dolls that entered Joseph K’s
room at morn
also entered mine and ate at my table, and examined my scribbles,
and followed me night and morn from the houses of the lovers to the cafes of
Centrum –
And I am the King of May, which is the power of sexual youth,
and I am the King of May, which is long hair of Adam and Beard of my
own body
and I am the King of May, which is Kraj Majales in the Czechoslovakian
tongue,
and I am the King of May, which is old Human poesy, and 100,000 people
chose my name,
and I am the King of May, and in a few minutes I will land at London
Airport,
and I am the King of May, naturally, for I am of Slavic parentage and a
Buddhist Jew
who whorships the Sacred Heart of Christ the blue body of Krishna the
straight back of Ram
the beads of Chango the Nigerian singing Shiva Shiva in a manner which
I have invented,
and the King of May is a middleeuropean honor, mine in the XX century
despite space ships and the Time Machine, because I have heard the voice of Blake
in a vision
and repeat that voice. And I am the King of May that sleeps with teenagers
laughing.
And I am the King of May, that I may be expelled from my Kingdom with
Honor, as of old,
To show the difference between Caesar’s Kingdom and the Kingdom of the
May of Man –
and I am the King of May because I touched my finger to my forehead
saluting
a luminous heavy girl trembling hands who said “one moment Mr. Ginsberg”
before a fat young Plainclothesman stepped between our bodies – I was
going to England –
and I am the King of May, in a giant jetplane touching Albion’s airfield
trembling in fear
as the plane roars to a landing on the gray concrete, shakes & expels air,
and rolls slowly to a stop under the clouds with part of blue heaven still
visible.
And tho’ I am the King of May, the Marxists have beat me upon the street,
kept me up all night in Police Station, followed me thru Springtime
Prague, detained me in secret and deported me from our kingdom by
airplane.
This I have written this poem on a jet seat in mid Heaven.

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The Great City – Walt Whitman

The place where a great city stands is not the place of stretch’d wharves, docks, manufactures, deposits of produce merely,
Nor the place of ceaseless salutes of new-comers or the anchor-lifters of the departing,
Nor the place of the tallest and costliest buildings or shops selling goods from the rest of the earth,
Nor the place of the best libraries and schools, nor the place where money is plentiest,
Nor the place of the most numerous population.

Where the city stands with the brawniest breed of orators and bards,
Where the city stands that is belov’d by these, and loves them in return and understands them,
Where no monuments exist to heroes but in the common words and deeds,
Where thrift is in its place, and prudence is in its place,
Where the men and women think lightly of the laws,
Where the slave ceases, and the master of slaves ceases,
Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending audacity of elected persons,
Where fierce men and women pour forth as the sea to the whistle of death pours its sweeping and unript waves,

Where outside authority enters always after the precedence of inside authority,
Where the citizen is always the head and ideal, and President, Mayor, Governor and what not, are agents for pay,
Where children are taught to be laws to themselves, and to depend on themselves,
Where equanimity is illustrated in affairs,
Where speculations on the soul are encouraged,
Where women walk in public processions in the streets the same as the men,
Where they enter the public assembly and take places the same as the men;
Where the city of the faithfulest friends stands,
Where the city of the cleanliness of the sexes stands,
Where the city of the healthiest fathers stands,
Where the city of the best-bodied mothers stands,
There the great city stands.

Election Day, November, 1884 – Walt Whitman

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing
and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones—nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi’s stream:
—This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name—the still small voice vibrating—America’s
choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous’d—sea-board and inland—Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont,
Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.

Broadway – Walt Whitman

What hurrying human tides, or day or night!
What passions, winnings, losses, ardors, swim thy waters!
What whirls of evil, bliss and sorrow, stem thee!
What curious questioning glances- glints of love!
Leer, envy, scorn, contempt, hope, aspiration!
Thou portal- thou arena- thou of the myriad long-drawn lines and groups!
(Could but thy flagstones, curbs, facades, tell their inimitable tales;
Thy windows rich, and huge hotels- thy side-walks wide;)
Thou of the endless sliding, mincing, shuffling feet!
Thou, like the parti-colored world itself- like infinite, teeming,
mocking life!
Thou visor’d, vast, unspeakable show and lesson!

Washington’s Monument, February, 1885 – Walt Whitman

Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
Far from its base and shaft expanding—the round zones circling,
comprehending,

Thou, Washington, art all the world’s, the continents’ entire—
not yours alone, America,

Europe’s as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer’s cot,
Or frozen North, or sultry South—the African’s—the Arab’s in
his tent,

Old Asia’s there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? ‘tis but the same—the heir
legitimate, continued ever,

The indomitable heart and arm—proofs of the never-broken
line,

Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same—e’en in defeat
defeated not, the same:)

Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
Through teeming cities’ streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois’d by Toleration, sway’d by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.

A Woman Waits For Me – Walt Whitman

A WOMAN waits for me–she contains all, nothing is lacking,
Yet all were lacking, if sex were lacking, or if the moisture of the
right man were lacking.

Sex contains all,
Bodies, Souls, meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results,
promulgations,
Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the seminal
milk;
All hopes, benefactions, bestowals,
All the passions, loves, beauties, delights of the earth,
All the governments, judges, gods, follow’d persons of the earth,
These are contain’d in sex, as parts of itself, and justifications of
itself.

Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his
sex, 10
Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

Now I will dismiss myself from impassive women,
I will go stay with her who waits for me, and with those women that
are warm-blooded and sufficient for me;
I see that they understand me, and do not deny me;
I see that they are worthy of me–I will be the robust husband of
those women.

They are not one jot less than I am,
They are tann’d in the face by shining suns and blowing winds,
Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength,
They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike,
retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves,
They are ultimate in their own right–they are calm, clear, well-
possess’d of themselves. 20

I draw you close to me, you women!
I cannot let you go, I would do you good,
I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake, but for
others’ sakes;
Envelop’d in you sleep greater heroes and bards,
They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.

It is I, you women–I make my way,
I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable–but I love you,
I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,
I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for These States–I
press with slow rude muscle,
I brace myself effectually–I listen to no entreaties, 30
I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated
within me.

Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself,
In you I wrap a thousand onward years,
On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and America,
The drops I distil upon you shall grow fierce and athletic girls, new
artists, musicians, and singers,
The babes I beget upon you are to beget babes in their turn,
I shall demand perfect men and women out of my love-spendings,
I shall expect them to interpenetrate with others, as I and you
interpenetrate now,
I shall count on the fruits of the gushing showers of them, as I
count on the fruits of the gushing showers I give now,
I shall look for loving crops from the birth, life, death,
immortality, I plant so lovingly now. 40

My Birthday – Charles Lamb

A dozen years since in this house what commotion,
What bustle, what stir, and what joyful ado;
Every soul in the family at my devotion,
When into the world I came twelve years ago.

I’ve been told by my friends (if they do not belie me)
My promise was such as no parent would scorn;
The wise and the aged who prophesied by me
Augured nothing but good of me when I was born.

But vain are the hopes which are formed by a parent,
Fallacious the marks which in infancy shine;
My frail constitution soon made it apparent,
I nourished within me the seeds of decline.

On a sick bed I lay, through the flesh my bones started,
My grief-wasted frame to a skeleton fell;
My physicians foreboding took leave and departed,
And they wished me dead now, who wishëd me well.

Life and soul were kept in by a mother’s assistance,
Who struggled with faith, and prevailed ‘gainst despair;
Like an angel she watched o’er the lamp of existence,
And never would leave while a glimmer was there.

By her care I’m alive now-but what retribution
Can I for a life twice bestowed thus confer?
Were I to be silent, each year’s revolution
Proclaims-each new birthday is owing to her.

The chance-rooted tree that by waysides is planted,
Where no friendly hand will watch o’er its young shoots,
Has less blame if in autumn, when produce is wanted,
Enriched by small culture it put forth small fruits.

But that which with labour in hot-beds is reared,
Secured by nice art from the dews and the rains,
Unsound at the root may with justice be feared,
If it pay not with interest the tiller’s hard pains.

Prince Dorus – Charles Lamb

In days of yore, as Ancient Stories tell,
A King in love with a great Princess fell.
Long at her feet submiss the Monarch sigh’d,
While she with stern repulse his suit denied.
Yet was he form’d by birth to please the fair,
Dress’d, danc’d, and courted, with a Monarch’s air;
But Magic Spells her frozen breast had steel’d
With stubborn pride, that knew not how to yield.

This to the King a courteous Fairy told,
And bade the Monarch in his suit be bold;
For he that would the charming Princess wed,
Had only on her cat’s black tail to tread,
When straight the Spell would vanish into air,
And he enjoy for life the yielding fair.

He thank’d the Fairy for her kind advice.-
Thought he, ‘If this be all, I’ll not be nice;
Rather than in my courtship I will fail,
I will to mince-meat tread Minon’s black tail.’

To the Princess’s court repairing strait,
He sought the cat that must decide his fate;
But when he found her, how the creature stared!
How her back bristled, and her great eyes glared!
That tail, which he so fondly hop’d his prize,
Was swell’d by wrath to twice its usual size;
And all her cattish gestures plainly spoke,
She thought the affair he came upon, no joke.

With wary step the cautious King draws near,
And slyly means to attack her in her rear;
But when he thinks upon her tail to pounce,
Whisk-off she skips-three yards upon a bounce-
Again he tries, again his efforts fail-
Minon’s a witch-the deuce is in her tail.-

The anxious chase for weeks the Monarch tried,
Till courage fail’d, and hope within him died.
A desperate suit ’twas useless to prefer,
Or hope to catch a tail of quicksilver.-
When on a day, beyond his hopes, he found
Minon, his foe, asleep upon the ground;
Her ample tail hehind her lay outspread,
Full to the eye, and tempting to the tread.
The King with rapture the occasion bless’d,
And with quick foot the fatal part he press’d.
Loud squalls were heard, like howlings of a storm,
And sad he gazed on Minon’s altered form,-
No more a cat, but chang’d into a man
Of giant size, who frown’d, and thus began:

‘Rash King, that dared with impious design
To violate that tail, that once was mine;
What tho’ the spell be broke, and burst the charms,
That kept the Princess from thy longing arms,-
Not unrevenged shalt thou my fury dare,
For by that violated tail I swear,
From your unhappy nuptials shall be born
A Prince, whose Nose shall be thy subjects’ scorn.
Bless’d in his love thy son shall never be,
Till he his foul deformity shall see,
Till he with tears his blemish shall confess,
Discern its odious length, and wish it less!’

This said, he vanish’d; and the King awhile
Mused at his words, then answer’d with a smile,
‘Give me a child in happy wedlock born,
And let his Nose be made like a French horn;
His knowledge of the fact I ne’er can doubt,-
If he have eyes, or hands, he’ll find it out.’

So spake the King, self-flatter’d in his thought,
Then with impatient step the Princess sought;
His urgent suit no longer she withstands,
But links with him in Hymen’s knot her hands.

Almost as soon a widow as a bride,
Within a year the King her husband died;
And shortly after he was dead and gone
She was deliver’d of a little son,
The prettiest babe, with lips as red as rose,
And eyes like little stars-but such a nose-
The tender Mother fondly took the boy
Into her arms, and would have kiss’d her joy;
His luckless nose forbade the fond embrace-
He thrust the hideous feature in her face.

Then all her Maids of Honour tried in turn,
And for a Prince’s kiss in envy burn;
By sad experience taught, their hopes they miss’d,
And mourn’d a Prince that never could be kiss’d.
In silent tears the Queen confess’d her grief,
Till kindest Flattery came to her relief.
Her maids, as each one takes him in her arms,
Expatiate freely o’er his world of charms-
His eyes, lips, mouth-his forehead was divine-
And for the nose-they call’d it Aquiline-
Declared that Cæsar, who the world subdued,
Had such a one-just of that longitude-
That Kings like him compell’d folks to adore them,
And drove the short-nos’d sons of men before them-
That length of nose portended length of days,
And was a great advantage many ways-
To mourn the gifts of Providence was wrong-
Besides, the Nose was not so very long.-

These arguments in part her grief redrest,
A mother’s partial fondness did the rest;
And Time, that all things reconciles by use,
Did in her notions such a change produce,
That, as she views her babe, with favour blind,
She thinks him handsomest of human kind.

Meantime, in spite of his disfigured face,
Dorus (for so he’s call’d) grew up a pace;
In fair proportion all his features rose,
Save that most prominent of all-his Nose.
That Nose, which in the infant could annoy,
Was grown a perfect nuisance in the boy.
Whene’er he walk’d, his Handle went before,
Long as the snout of Ferret, or Wild Boar;
Or like the Staff, with which on holy day
The solemn Parish Beadle clears the way.

But from their cradle to their latest year,
How seldom Truth can reach a Prince’s ear!
To keep the unwelcome knowledge out of view,
His lesson well each flattering Courtier knew;
The hoary Tutor, and the wily Page,
Unmeet confederates! dupe his tender age.
They taught him that whate’er vain mortals boast-
Strength, Courage, Wisdom-all they value most-
Whate’er on human life distinction throws-
Was all comprized-in what?-a length of nose!
Ev’n Virtue’s self (by some suppos’d chief merit)
In short-nosed folks was only want of spirit.

While doctrines such as these his guides instill’d,
His Palace was with long-nosed people fill’d;
At Court whoever ventured to appear
With a short nose, was treated with a sneer.
Each courtier’s wife, that with a babe is blest,
Moulds its young nose betimes; and does her best,
By pulls, and hauls, and twists, and lugs, and pinches,
To stretch it to the standard of the Prince’s.

Dup’d by these arts, Dorus to manhood rose,
Nor dream’d of ought more comely than his Nose;
Till Love, whose power ev’n Princes have confest,
Claim’d the soft empire o’er his youthful breast.
Fair Claribel was she who caus’d his care;
A neighb’ring Monarch’s daughter, and sole heir.
For beauteous Claribel his bosom burn’d;
The beauteous Claribel his flame return’d;
Deign’d with kind words his passion to approve,
Met his soft vows, and yielded love for love.
If in her mind some female pangs arose
At sight (and who can blame her?) of his Nose,
Affection made her willing to be blind;
She loved him for the beauties of his mind;
And in his lustre, and his royal race,
Contented sunk-one feature of his face.

Blooming to sight, and lovely to behold,
Herself was cast in Beauty’s richest mould;
Sweet female majesty her person deck’d-
Her face an angel’s-save for one defect-
Wise Nature, who to Dorus over kind,
A length of nose too liberal had assign’d,
As if with us poor mortals to make sport,
Had given to Claribel a nose too short:
But turn’d up with a sort of modest grace;
It took not much of beauty from her face;
And subtle Courtiers, who their Prince’s mind
Still watch’d, and turn’d about with every wind,
Assur’d the Prince, that though man’s beauty owes
Its charms to a majestic length of nose,
The excellence of Woman (softer creature)
Consisted in the shortness of that feature.
Few arguments were wanted to convince
The already more than half persuaded Prince;
Truths, which we hate, with slowness we receive,
But what we wish to credit, soon believe.

The Princess’s affections being gain’d,
What but her Sire’s approval now remain’d?
Ambassadors with solemn pomp are sent
To win the aged Monarch to consent
(Seeing their States already were allied)
That Dorus might have Claribel to bride.
Her Royal Sire, who wisely understood
The match propos’d was for both kingdoms’ good,
Gave his consent; and gentle Claribel
With weeping bids her father’s court farewell.

With gallant pomp, and numerous array,
Dorus went forth to meet her on her way;
But when the Princely pair of lovers met,
Their hearts on mutual gratulations set,
Sudden the Enchanter from the ground arose,
(The same who prophesied the Prince’s nose)
And with rude grasp, unconscious of her charms,
Snatch’d up the lovely Princess in his arms,
Then bore her out of reach of human eyes,
Up in the pathless regions of the skies.

Bereft of her that was his only care,
Dorus resign’d his soul to wild despair;
Resolv’d to leave the land that gave him birth,
And seek fair Claribel throughout the earth.
Mounting his horse, he gives the beast the reins,
And wanders lonely through the desert plains;
With fearless heart the savage heath explores,
Where the wolf prowls, and where the tiger roars,
Nor wolf, nor tiger, dare his way oppose;
The wildest creatures see, and shun, his Nose.
Ev’n lions fear! the elephant alone
Surveys with pride a trunk so like his own.

At length he to a shady forest came,
Where in a cavern lived an aged dame;
A reverend Fairy, on whose silver head
A hundred years their downy snows had shed.
Here ent’ring in, the Mistress of the place
Bespoke him welcome with a cheerful grace;
Fetch’d forth her dainties, spread her social board
With all the store her dwelling could afford.
The Prince, with toil and hunger sore opprest,
Gladly accepts, and deigns to be her guest.
But when the first civilities were paid,
The dishes rang’d, and Grace in order said;
The Fairy, who had leisure now to view
Her guest more closely, from her pocket drew
Her spectacles, and wip’d them from the dust,
Then on her nose endeavour’d to adjust;
With difficulty she could find a place
To hang them on in her unshapely face;
For, if the Princess’s was somewhat small,
This Fairy scarce had any nose at all.
But when by help of spectacles the Crone
Discern’d a Nose so different from her own,
What peals of laughter shook her aged sides!
While with sharp jests the Prince she thus derides.

FAIRY.
‘Welcome, great Prince of Noses, to my cell;
‘Tis a poor place,-but thus we Fairies dwell.
Pray, let me ask you, if from far you come-
And don’t you sometimes find it cumbersome?’

PRINCE.
‘Find what?’

FAIRY.
‘Your Nose-‘

PRINCE.
‘My Nose, Ma’am!’

FAIRY.
‘No offence-
The King your Father was a man of sense,
A handsome man (but lived not to be old)
And had a Nose cast in the common mould.
Ev’n I myself, that now with age am grey,
Was thought to have some beauty in my day,
And am the Daughter of a King.-Your Sire
In this poor face saw something to admire-
And I to shew my gratitude made shift-
Have stood his friend-and help’d him at a lift-
‘Twas I that, when his hopes began to fail,
Shew’d him the spell that lurk’d in Minon’s tail-
Perhaps you have heard-but come, Sir, you don’t eat-
That Nose of yours requires both wine and meat-
Fall to, and welcome, without more ado-
You see your fare-what shall I help you to?
This dish the tongues of nightingales contains;
This, eyes of peacocks; and that, linnets’ brains;
That next you is a Bird of Paradise-
We Fairies in our food are somewhat nice.-
And pray, Sir, while your hunger is supplied,
Do lean your Nose a little on one side;
The shadow, which it casts upon the meat,
Darkens my plate, I see not what I eat-‘

The Prince, on dainty after dainty feeding,
Felt inly shock’d at the old Fairy’s breeding,
But held it want of manners in the Dame,
And did her country education blame.
One thing he only wonder’d at,-what she
So very comic in his Nose could see.
Hers, it must be confest, was somewhat short,
And time and shrinking age accounted for’t;
But for his own, thank heaven, he could not tell
That it was ever thought remarkable;
A decent nose, of reasonable size,
And handsome thought, rather than otherwise.
But that which most of all his wonder paid,
Was to observe the Fairy’s waiting Maid;
How at each word the aged Dame let fall;
She curtsied low, and smil’d assent to all;
But chiefly when the rev’rend Grannam told
Of conquests, which her beauty made of old.-
He smiled to see how Flattery sway’d the Dame,
Nor knew himself was open to the same!
He finds her raillery now increase so fast,
That making hasty end of his repast,
Glad to escape her tongue, he bids farewell
To the old Fairy, and her friendly cell.

But his kind Hostess, who had vainly tried
The force of ridicule to cure his pride,
Fertile in plans, a surer method chose,
To make him see the error of his Nose;
For, till he view’d that feature with remorse,
The Enchanter’s direful spell must be in force.

Midway the road by which the Prince must pass,
She rais’d by magic art a House of Glass;
No mason’s hand appear’d, nor work of wood;
Compact of glass the wondrous fabric stood.
Its stately pillars, glittering in the sun,
Conspicuous from afar, like silver, shone.
Here, snatch’d and rescued from th’ Enchanter’s might,
She placed the beauteous Claribel in sight.

The admiring Prince the chrystal dome survey’d,
And sought access unto his lovely Maid:
But, strange to tell, in all that mansion’s bound,
Nor door, nor casement, was there to be found.
Enrag’d he took up massy stones, and flung
With such a force, that all the palace rung;
But made no more impression on the glass,
Than if the solid structure had been brass.
To comfort his despair, the lovely maid
Her snowy hand against her window laid;
But when with eager haste he thought to kiss,
His Nose stood out, and robb’d him of the bliss.
Thrice he essay’d th’ impracticable feat;
The window and his lips can never meet.

The painful Truth, which Flattery long conceal’d,
Rush’d on his mind, and ‘O!’ he cried, ‘I yield;
Wisest of Fairies, thou wert right, I wrong-
I own, I own, I have a Nose too long.’

The frank confession was no sooner spoke,
But into shivers all the palace broke.
His Nose of monstrous length, to his surprise
Shrunk to the limits of a common size:
And Claribel with joy her Lover view’d,
Now grown as beautiful as he was good.
The aged Fairy in their presence stands,
Confirms their mutual vows, and joins their hands.
The Prince with rapture hails the happy hour,
That rescued him from self-delusion’s power;
And trains of blessings crown the future life
Of Dorus, and of Claribel, his wife.

On An Infant Dying As Soon As Born – Charles Lamb

My feeble Muse, that fain her best would
Write, at command of Frances Westwood,
But feels her wits not in their best mood,
Fell lately on some idle fancies,
As she’s much given to romances,
About this self-same style of Frances;
Which seems to be a name in common
Attributed to man or woman.
She thence contrived this flattering moral,
With which she hopes no soul will quarrel,
That she, whom this twin title decks,
Combines what’s good in either sex;
Unites-how very rare the case is!-
Masculine sense to female graces;
And, quitting not her proper rank,
Is both in one-Fanny and frank.

Breakfast – Charles Lamb

A dinner party, coffee, tea,
Sandwich, or supper, all may be
In their way pleasant. But to me
Not one of these deserves the praise
That welcomer of new-born days,
A breakfast, merits; ever giving
Cheerful notice we are living
Another day refreshed by sleep,
When its festival we keep.
Now although I would not slight
Those kindly words we use, ‘Good night,’
Yet parting words are words of sorrow,
And may not vie with sweet ‘Good morrow,’
With which again our friends we greet,
When in the breakfast-room we meet,
At the social table round,
Listening to the lively sound
Of those notes which never tire,
Of urn, or kettle on the fire.
Sleepy Robert never hears
Or urn or kettle; he appears
When all have finished, one by one
Dropping off, and breakfast done.
Yet has he too his own pleasure,
His breakfast hour’s his hour of leisure;
And, left alone, he reads or muses,
Or else in idle mood he uses
To sit and watch the venturous fly,
Where the sugar’s pilëd high,
Clambering o’er the lumps so white,
Rocky cliffs of sweet delight.