Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LITTLE GREGORY, by THEODORE BOTREL



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LITTLE GREGORY, by            
First Line: Gregory,' his dam would chide
Last Line: "jesu domine!"
Subject(s): Courts & Courtiers; Jesus Christ; Versailles, Frances; Royal Court Life; Royalty; Kings; Queens


"GREGORY," his dam would chide,
"Where could one find smaller?
Why, the kneading-trough outside
Is two inches taller!
Though apprentices are sought
On the land and sea,
None would give your suit a thought;
You're too weak and wee, my bonny;
You're too weak and wee.
Jesu Domine!"

"Gad," the merry Captain said,
"Pigmy, I'll be sworn,
Once aboard you'd soon be dead.
Harkee, Peppercorn,
Though you have a waggish look,
Who would ever see
You as swab or billy-cook?
You're too weak and wee, my bonny;
You're too weak and wee.
Jesu Domine!"

At the Palace of Versailles
He besought the King:
"Sire, a lad of Cornouailles
Comes a-soldiering!"
But King Louis laughed aloud.
"Guardsman would you be?
Though with heart you're well endowed,
You're too weak and wee, my bonny;
You're too weak and wee.
Jesu Domine!"

Springtide broke in Brittany
And the war had come.
Jean Chouan, his friend, and he
Marched behind the drum.
Soon the bullets swept the plain,
Missing Gregory,
Singing in their high disdain:
"He's too weak and wee, this Johnny;
He's too weak and wee.
Jesu Domine!"

But a bullet found at last
Rest between his eyes.
Through the hole his spirit passed
To the azure skies.
There, Saint Peter, golden-keyed,
Said: "Begone from me!
Though for seraphs we have need,
You're too weak and wee, my bonny;
You're too weak and wee.
Jesu Domine!"

But the Lord our God above,
Here and everywhere,
Bared His riven heart of love,
Hiding Gregory there;
And the warden of the keys
Sank down upon his knee
When he heard the voice that spake
In distant Galilee:
"Whoso receiveth one of these
In sooth receiveth Me!"

"Jesu Domine!"





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