Disappointment of a Thrall

by John Crowe Ransom

John Crowe Ransom

To an innocent knight should this great luck befal
That his King visit him, lord of his life and breath,
Whose ministers post and cry, "Thus saith, thus saith——
His paths prepared by a chamberlain master of all
Husbandry whispering, "Spare no expense, Sir Paul——
Noised in the East with horn and hoof and drum,
Marching to West till his plumy host are come
And stand in the gate and hail the loving thrall:—

Why, the young heart bursts with shame if such a King,
Helped from his horse, his fox-face peaked with travel,
His bowels infirm, his water stopped with gravel,
Must to bed, with a pair of leeches at his bedside
And a Bishop pouring medicine for pride,
And no stomach to hear the speech of welcoming.

Last updated April 01, 2023