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Category: Funny Banter Poems
       Classic humorous and funny poems in a playful, teasing, and good-natured way.

  MALBROUCK  

Malbrouck, the prince of commanders,
Is gone to the war in Flanders;
His fame is like Alexander's;
    But when will he come home?

Perhaps at Trinity Feast, or
Perhaps he may come at Easter.
Egad! he had better make haste, or
    We fear he may never come.

For Trinity Feast is over,
And has brought no news from Dover;
And Easter is past, moreover,
    And Malbrouck still delays.

Milady in her watch-tower
Spends many a pensive hour,
Not well knowing why or how her
    Dear lord from England stays.

While sitting quite forlorn in
That tower, she spies returning
A page clad in deep mourning,
    With fainting steps and slow.

"O page, prithee, come faster!
What news do you bring of your master?
I fear there is some disaster,
    Your looks are so full of woe."

"The news I bring, fair lady,"
With sorrowful accent said he,
"Is one you are not ready
    So soon, alas! to hear.

"But since to speak I'm hurried,"
Added this page, quite flurried,
"Malbrouck is dead and buried!"
    (And here he shed a tear.)

"He's dead! he's dead as a herring!
For I beheld his 'berring,'
And four officers transferring
    His corpse away from the field.

"One officer carried his sabre,
And he carried it not without labour,
Much envying his next neighbour,
    Who only bore a shield.

"The third was helmet-bearer--
That helmet which on its wearer
Filled all who saw with terror,
    And covered a hero's brains.

"Now, having got so far, I
Find that (by the Lord Harry!)
The fourth is left nothing to carry;
    So there the thing remains."

             Translated by Father Prout.


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