Albeit wholly penniless,
Prince Charming wasn't any less
Conceited than a Croesus or a modern millionaire:
Though often in necessity,
No one would ever guess it. He
Was candidly insolvent, and he frankly didn't care!
Of the many debts he made
Not a one was ever paid,
But no one ever pressed him to refund the borrowed gold:
While he recklessly kept spending,
People gladly kept on lending,
For the fact they knew a title
(He lived in sixteen sixty-three,
This smooth unblushing article,
Since when, as far as I can see,
Men haven't changed a particle!)
In Charming's principality
There was a wild locality,
Composed of sombre forest, and of steep and frowning crags,
Of pheasant and of rabbit, too;
And here it was his habit to
Go hunting with his courtiers in the keen pursuit of stags.
But the charger that he rode
So mercurially strode
That the prince on one occasion left the others in the lurch,
And the falling darkness found him,
With no vassals left around him,
Near a building like an abbey,
Or a shabby
His Highness said: "I'll ring the bell
And stay till morning in it!" (He
Took Hobson's choice, for no hotel
There was in the vicinity.)
His ringing was so vehement
That any one could see he meant
To suffer no refusal, but, in spite of all the din,
There was no answer audible,
And so, with courage laudable,
His Royal Highness turned the knob, and stoutly entered in.
Then he strode across the court,
But he suddenly stopped short
When he passed within the castle by a massive oaken door:
There were courtiers without number,
But they all were plunged in slumber,
The prince's ear delighting
In a snore.
The prince remarked: "This must be Philadelphia,
(And so was born the jest that's still
The comic journal's mania!)
With torpor reprehensible,
Numb, comatose, insensible,
The flunkeys and the chamberlains all slumbered like the dead,
And snored so loud and mournfully,
That Charming passed them scornfully
And came to where a princess lay asleep upon a bed.
She was so extremely fair
That His Highness didn't care
For the risk, and so he kissed her ere a single word he spoke:--
In a jiffy maids and pages,
Ushers, lackeys, squires, and sages,
As fresh as if they'd been at least
A week awake,
And hastened, bustled, dashed and ran
Up stairways and through galleries:
In brief, they one and all began
Again to earn their salaries!
Aroused from her paralysis,
As if in deep analysis
Of him who had awakened her, the princess met his eye:
Her glance at first was critical,
And sternly analytical.
And then she dropped her lashes and she gave a little sigh.
As he watched her, wholly dumb,
She observed: "You doubtless come
For one of two good reasons, and I'm going to ask you which.
Do you mean my house to harry,
Or do you propose to marry?"
He answered: "I may rue it,
But I'll do it,
If you're rich!"
The princess murmured with a smile:
"I've millions, at the least, to come!"
The prince cried: "Please excuse me, while
I go and get the priest to come!"
The Moral: When affairs go ill
The sleeping partner foots the bill.