Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TARQUIN AND THE AUGUR, by WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TARQUIN AND THE AUGUR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Gingerly is good king tarquin shaving
Last Line: Rodgers' name engraved upon the blade.
Alternate Author Name(s): Bon Gaultier (with Theodore Martin)
Subject(s): Courts & Courtiers; Shaving; Royal Court Life; Royalty; Kings; Queens

GINGERLY is good King Tarquin shaving,
Gently glides the razor o'er his chin,
Near him stands a grim Haruspex raving,
And with nasal whine he pitches in
Church extension hints,
Till the monarch squints,
Snicks his chin, and swears -- a deadly sin!

'Jove confound thee, thou bare-legged impostor!
From my dressing-table get thee gone!
Dost thou think my flesh is double Glo'ster?
There again! That cut was to the bone!
Get ye from my sight;
I'll believe you're right,
When my razor cuts the sharping hone!'

Thus spoke Tarquin with a deal of dryness;
But the Augur, eager for his fees,
Answered -- 'Try it, your Imperial Highness,
Press a little harder, if you please.
There! the deed is done!'
Through the solid stone
Went the steel as glibly as through cheese.

So the Augur touch'd the tin of Tarquin,
Who suspected some celestial aid:
But he wronged the blameless Gods; for hearken!
Ere the monarch's bet was rashly laid,
With his searching eye
Did the priest espy
RODGERS' name engraved upon the blade.

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