Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A FABLE FOR POETS, by BERTON BRALEY



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A FABLE FOR POETS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Once on a time there was a bard
Last Line: "and none of them were very long!"
Subject(s): Fables; Allegories


Once on a time there was a bard
Who made his tuneful lute to twang,
But found the going rather hard,
Till one day, growing wise, he sang:
"Perhaps my little lays are bad,
Perhaps you think I sing them wrong,
But—none of them are very sad
And none of them are very long!"

Ah, then the people filled his hat
And danced to all the songs he made;
The minstrel waxed exceeding fat
And joyfully his lute he played.
The king came by and heard the lad
Carol his promise to the throng,
"None of my songs are very sad
And none of them are very long!"

"Oh, wondrous minstrel" quoth the king,
"Oh, wisest of all bards there be,
Come to the royal court and sing
Thy deathless lyrics unto me."
And so in silk the bard was clad,
His verses rang the well-known gong,
For none of them were very sad
And none of them were very long!

He sang of love and war and work,
Of little things that men hold dear,
Gay songs wherein the tear-drops lurk,
Grave songs with smiles behind the tear;
But all his many lyrics had
A spirit unafraid and strong,
And—none of them were very sad
And none of them were very long.

Hear, then, this poet's epitaph;
"He sang of Hope and not Despair,
Of how a man might bravely laugh
Through all the woes that he must bear;
He made a dull old world seem glad
With bits of simple, dauntless song,
For none of them were very sad
And none of them were very long!"





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