Ballade Of Old Plays

Andrew Lang 1844 (Selkirk, Scottish Borders) – 1912 (Banchory)


When these Old Plays were new, the King,
Beside the Cardinal's chair,
Applauded, 'mid the courtly ring,
The verses of Moliere;
Point-lace was then the only wear,
Old Corneille came to woo,
And bright Du Parc was young and fair,
When these Old Plays were new!


How shrill the butcher's cat-calls ring,
How loud the lackeys swear!
Black pipe-bowls on the stage they fling,
At Brecourt, fuming there!
The Porter's stabbed! a Mousquetaire
Breaks in with noisy crew -
'Twas all a commonplace affair
When these Old Plays were new!


When these Old Plays were new! They bring
A host of phantoms rare:
Old jests that float, old jibes that sting,
Old faces peaked with care:
Menage's smirk, de Vise's stare,
The thefts of Jean Ribou,--
Ah, publishers were hard to bear
When these Old Plays were new.


Ghosts, at your Poet's word ye dare
To break Death's dungeons through,
And frisk, as in that golden air,
When these Old Plays were new!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

54 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme ababbcbC ababbcbC ababbxbC bcbC
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 938
Words 173
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 4

Andrew Lang

Andrew Richard Lang FRS CBE was a British scientist and crystallographer. more…

All Andrew Lang poems | Andrew Lang Books

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