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A poem by Herman Melville: Falstaff’s Lament Over Prince Hal Become Henry V

 

Falstaff’s Lament Over Prince Hal Become Henry V

One that I cherished,
Yea, loved as a son –
Up early, up late with,
My promising one:
No use in good nurture,
None, lads, none!

Here on this settle
He wore the true crown,
King of good fellows,
And Fat Jack was one –
Now, Beadle of England
In formal array –
Best fellow alive
On a throne flung away!

Companions and cronies
Keep fast and lament; –
Come, drawer, more sack here
To drown discontent;
For now intuitions
Shall wither to codes,
Pragmatized morals
Shall libel the gods.

One I instructed,
Yea, talked to -alone:
Precept -example
Clean away thrown!

Sorrow makes thirsty:
Sack, drawer, more sack! –
One that I prayed for,
I, Honest Jack!

To bring down these grey hairs –
To cut his old pal!
But, I’ll be magnanimous –
Here’s to thee Hal!

 

Herman Melville

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