Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TWO BRACELETS, by HORACE SMITH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE TWO BRACELETS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A farmer general, one monsieur b --
Last Line: "but both your bracelets now are fairly gone!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Jewelry & Jewelers

A FARMER GENERAL, one Monsieur B -----,
Who dwelt in France when Louis held the throne,
Lived like a prince from every trouble free,
Except a wife -- (the exception's large, I own)
For she was fat as any marchioness,
And given to extravagance in dress. --

One day she bought a pair of bracelets -- such
As few but royal damsels would bespeak;
They cost -- I cannot recollect how much,
But they were quite magnificent -- unique --
And having clasped them on, away she flies
Off to the Opera to show her prize.

It happened that the queen was there that night,
Just opposite the box that Madame took,
And on the bracelets with intense delight
Frequently looked -- or else appeared to look;
For she took special care to have them seen,
As if on purpose to outvie the queen.

Soon to the box door came a Page, attired
In the Queen's proper livery, all in style,
And in the name of Majesty required
One of the bracelets for a little while,
That by her eye she might the pattern take,
And order some of the exact same make.

Off went the sparkling bauble in a trice,
While her rouged cheeks with exultation burn,
As, bowing to the Royal party thrice,
She patiently awaited its return;
But when the Queen retired, and none was sent,
Our dame began to wonder what it meant. --

A Lord in waiting soon confirmed her fears:
"Oh, that pretended Page I've often seen --
A noted sharper -- has been such for years.
Madame, you're robbed -- he came not from the Queen;
I knew the rogue, and should have had him taken,
But that he slipped away and saved his bacon."

Boiling with anger, Madame called her coach,
And drove to the Bureau de la Justice,
Where, with loud tongue, and many a keen reproach,
About the shameful state of the police,
She called upon the Provost for relief,
And bade him send his men to catch the thief.

Early next morn she heard the knocker's din;
Her heart beat high, with expectation big,
When lo! the Provost's Clerk was ushered in --
A formal consequential little prig,
Who, with a mighty magisterial air,
Hemmed, and began his errand to declare: --

"Madame, a man is brought to our bureau,
On whom was found a bracelet of great cost,
And we are all anxiety to know
Whether or not it is the one you lost;
Wherefore I'll take the other, if you please,
Just to compare, and see if it agrees."

"Dear sir, I'm overjoyed -- 'tis mine, I'm sure;
Such a police as ours how few can boast!
Here, take the bracelet -- keep the rogue secure,
I'll follow you in half an hour at most;
Ten thousand thanks -- I hope you'll trounce the spark,
Open the door, there, for the Provost's Clerk!"

Oh! how she chuckled as she drove along,
Settling what pangs the pilferer should feel:
No punishment appeared to her too strong,
Even should the wretch be broken on the wheel;
For what infliction could be reckoned cruel,
To one who would purloin so rich a jewel?

Arrived at the bureau, her joy finds vent:
"Well, Mr. Provost, where's the guilty knave?
The other bracelet by your clerk I sent,
Doubtless it matches with the one you have;
Why, then, outstretch your mouth with such surprise,
And goggle on me thus with all your eyes?"

"La! bless me, Ma'am, you're finely hoaxed -- good lack!
I sent no clerk, no thief have we found out,
And the important little prig in black
Was the accomplice of the page no doubt;
Methinks the rascals might have left you one,
But both your bracelets now are fairly gone!"

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