Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BARON RENFREW'S BALL, by CHARLES GRAHAM HALPINE



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BARON RENFREW'S BALL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Twas a grand display was the prince's ball
Last Line: By his highness, the prince of wales.
Alternate Author Name(s): O'reilly, Miles
Subject(s): Edward Vii, King Of England (1841-1910); Parties


'T WAS a grand display was the prince's ball,
A pageant or fete, or what you may call
A brilliant coruscation,
Where ladies and knights of noble worth
Enchanted a prince of royal birth
By a royal demonstration.

Like queens arrayed in their regal guise
They charmed the prince with dazzling eyes,
Fair ladies of rank and station,
Till the floor gave way, and down they sprawled,
In a tableaux style, which the artists called
A floor-all decoration.

At the prince's feet like flowers they were laid,
In the brightest bouquet ever made,
For a prince's choice to falter --
Perplexed to find, where all were rare,
Which was the fairest of the fair
To cull for a queenly altar.

But soon the floor was set aright,
And Peter Cooper's face grew bright,
When, like the swell of an organ,
All hearts beat time to the first quadrille,
And the prince confessed to a joyous thrill
As he danced with Mrs. Morgan.

Then came the waltz -- the Prince's Own --
And every bar and brilliant tone
Had music's sweetest grace on;
But the prince himself ne'er felt its charm
Till he slightly clasped, with circling arm,
That lovely girl, Miss Mason.

But ah! the work went bravely on,
And meek-eyed Peace a trophy won
By the magic art of the dancers;
For the daring prince's next exploit
Was to league with Scott's Camilla Hoyt,
And overcome the Lancers.

Besides these three, he deigned to yield
His hand to Mrs. M. B. Field,
Miss Jay and Miss Van Buren;
Miss Russell, too, was given a place --
All beauties famous for their grace
From Texas to Lake Huron.

With Mrs. Kernochan he "lanced,"
With Mrs. Edward Cooper danced,
With Mrs. Belmont capered;
With fair Miss Fish, in fairy rig,
He tripped a sort of royal jig,
And next Miss Butler favored.

And thus, 'mid many hopes and fears,
By the brilliant light of the chandeliers,
Did they gayly quaff and revel;
Well pleased to charm a royal prince --
The only one from old England since
George Washington was a rebel.

And so the fleeting hours went by,
And watches stopped -- lest Time should fly --
Or that they winding wanted;
Old matrons dozed, and papas smiled,
And many a fair one was beguiled
As the prince danced on, undaunted.

'T is now a dream -- the prince's ball,
Its vanished glories, one and all,
The scenes of the fairy tales;
For Cinderella herself was there,
And Barnum keeps for trial fair
The beautiful slipper deposited there
By his highness, the Prince of Wales.





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