Lord Rochester's Song.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Un soldat au dur visage.")

[CROMWELL, ACT I.]


"Hold, little blue-eyed page!"
So cried the watchers surly,
Stern to his pretty rage
And golden hair so curly -
"Methinks your satin cloak
Masks something bulky under;
I take this as no joke -
Oh, thief with stolen plunder!"

"I am of high repute,
And famed among the truthful:
This silver-handled lute
Is meet for one still youthful
Who goes to keep a tryst
With her who is his dearest.
I charge you to desist;
My cause is of the clearest."

But guardsmen are so sharp,
Their eyes are as the lynx's:
"That's neither lute nor harp -
Your mark is not the minxes.
Your loving we dispute -
That string of steel so cruel
For music does not suit -
You go to fight a duel!"

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