Swine, Wine

by John Crowe Ransom

John Crowe Ransom

In that country it happening that the King
Came now that way victorious from battle,
Where he had slain some folk and stolen their cattle,
His chamberlain told Sir Paul an excellent thing
To do: Make ready with feast and furnishing
To lodge the King three days; and it was good
If the King favoured his bed and relished his food,
For service helps a man in the sight of the King.

Now purple and linen, heifers, poultry, swine,
Paul loved not for themselves, but he loved yet
As he hated his belly empty and his skin wet;
It would impoverish his great country house
If the State descended for a week's carouse;
No more he napped in innocence after wine.

Last updated October 11, 2022