Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAYOR OF MIROBLAIS, by HORACE SMITH



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THE MAYOR OF MIROBLAIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: While he was laying plans for getting
Last Line: And mouthed it regularly through.
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Politics & Government; Popes; Papacy


WHILE he was laying plans for getting
The honours of the Chapeau rouge,
The Cardinal Dubois was ever fretting;
All his days and nights allotting
To bribes and schemes, intriguing, plotting,
Until his face grew yellow as gamboge,
His eyes sepulchral, dull, and gummy,
And his whole frame a walking mummy.

Meanwhile his steward, De la Vigne,
Seemed to be fattening on his master,
For, as the one grew lank and lean,
The other only thrived the faster.

Enjoying, as he swelled in figure,
Such constant spirits, laugh, and snigger,
That it e'en struck his Excellency,
Who called him up and asked him whence he
Contrived to get so plump and jolly,
While he himself, a man of rank,
Visibly shrank,
And daily grew more melancholy.

"Really, my lord," the steward said,
"There's nothing marvellous in that;
You have a hat for ever in your head,
My head is always in my hat."

Dubois, too wealthy to be marred in all
His plots, was presently a Cardinal,
And wore what he had pined to win;
When pasquinades soon flew about,
Hinting his sconce was deeper red without,
Than 'twas within.

Perhaps it was, but that's no matter,
The Pope, like any other hatter,
Makes coverings, not heads; and this
With its new guest agreed so well,
That he soon wore an altered phiz:
Ate heartily, began to swell,
Recovered from his ails and ills,
And grew quite rosy in the gills.

'Tis strange, but true, our worthy wore
Fine robes, and waxed both plump and fresh,
From the first moment he forswore
All pomps and appetites of flesh. --
His Eminence, on this inflation
Both of his stomach and his station,
His old Chateau resolved to visit,
Accompanied by one Dupin,
A sandy-headed little man,
Who daily managed to elicit
Jokes from some French Joe Miller's page,
Old, and but little of their age;
Though they drew forth as never-failing
A roar of laughter every time,
As if they were as new and prime
As those which we are now retailing.

To the Chateau in Languedoc,
Whole deputations
From the surrounding districts flock,
With odes, addresses, gratulations,
And long orations;
And amongst others, the Prefet
Of Miroblais,
Famed for its annual Fair of Asses,
Began a speech which, by its dull
Exordium, threatened to be full
As long and dry as fifty masses.

Dupin, who saw his yawning master
Somewhat annoyed by this disaster,
And thought it might be acceptable
To quiz the bore, and stop his gabble,
Abruptly cried -- "Pray Mr. Mayor,
How much did asses fetch, last Fair?"

"Why, sir," the worthy mayor replied,
As the impertinent he eyed --
"Small sandy ones, like you, might each
Sell for three crowns, and plenty too;"
Then quietly resumed his speech,
And mouthed it regularly through.





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