Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS, by JAMES HENRY LEIGH HUNT



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THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: King francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport
Last Line: "like that."
Alternate Author Name(s): Hunt, Leigh
Subject(s): France


KING FRANCIS was a hearty king, and loved a royal
sport,
And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on
the court.
The nobles filled the benches, with the ladies in
their pride,
And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with
one for whom he sighed:
And truly 't was a gallant thing to see that crown-
ing show,
Valor and love, and a king above, and the royal
beasts below.
Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laugh-
ing jaws;
They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a
wind went with their paws;
With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled
on one another,
Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a
thunderous smother;
The bloody foam above the bars came whisking
through the air;
Said Francis then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're
better here than there."
De Lorge's love o'erheard the King, a beauteous
lively dame,
With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which
always seemed the same;
She thought, the Count, my lover, is brave as
brave can be;
He surely would do wondrous things to show his
love of me;
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is
divine;
I'll drop my glove, to prove his love, great glory
will be mine.
She dropped her glove to prove his love, then
looked at him and smiled
He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the
lions wild;
The leap was quick, return was quick, he has re-
gained his place,
Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in
the lady's face.
"By Heaven." said Francis. "rightly done!" and
he rose from where he sat
"No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task
like that."




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