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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.


By Francis Sylvester Mahony (Father Prout) (1804–1866)

From ‘The Songs of France,’ in the ‘Reliques’

MALBROUCK, the prince of commanders,

Is gone to the war in Flanders;

His fame is like Alexander’s:

But when will he come home?

Perhaps at Trinity Feast, or

Perhaps he may come at Easter.

Egad! he’d better make haste, or

We fear he may never come.

For “Trinity Feast” is over,

And has brought no news from Dover;

And Easter is past, moreover:

And Malbrouck still delays.

Milady in her watch-tower

Spends many a pensive hour,

Not well knowing why or how her

Dear lord from England stays.

While sitting quite forlorn in

That tower, she spies returning

A page clad in deep mourning,

With fainting steps and slow.

“O page, prithee come faster!

What news do you bring of your master?

I fear there is some disaster,

Your looks are so full of woe.”

“The news I bring, fair lady,”

With sorrowful accent said he,

“Is one you are not ready

So soon, alas! to hear.

But since to speak I’m hurried,”

Added this page, quite flurried,

“Malbrouck is dead and buried!”

(And here he shed a tear.)

“He’s dead! he’s dead as a herring!

For I beheld his ‘berring,’

And four officers transferring

His corpse away from the field.

“One officer carried his sabre,

And he carried it not without labor,

Much envying his next neighbor,

Who only bore a shield.

“The third was helmet-bearer—

That helmet which on its wearer

Filled all who saw it with terror,

And covered a hero’s brains.

“Now, having got so far, I

Find that (by the Lord Harry!)

The fourth is left nothing to carry;

So there the thing remains.”