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Madam La Maquise



Said Hongray de la Glaciere unto his proud Papa:
"I want to take a wife mon Père," The Marquis laughed: "Ha! Ha!
And whose, my son?" he slyly said; but Hongray with a frown
Cried, "Fi! Papa, I mean - to wed, I want to settle down."
The Marquis de la Glaciere responded with a smile;
"You're young my boy; I much prefer that you should wait awhile."
But Hongray sighed: "I cannot wait, for I am twenty-four;
And I have met my blessed fate: I worship and adore.
Such beauty, grace and charm has she, I'm sure you will approve,
For if I live a century none other can I love."
"I have no doubt," the Marquis shrugged, "that she's a proper pet;
But has she got a decent dot, and is she of our set?"
"Her dot," said Hongray, "will suffice; her family you know.
The girl with whom I fain would splice is Mirabelle du Veau."

What made the Marquis start and stare, and clutch his perfumed beard?
Why did he stagger to a chair and murmur: "As I feared?"
Dilated were his eyes with dread, and in a voice of woe
He wailed: "My son, you cannot wed with Mirabelle du Veau."
"Why not? my Parent," Hongray cried. "Her name's without a slur.
Why should you look so horrified that I should wed with her?"
The Marquis groaned: "Unhappy lad! Forget her if you can,
And see in your respected Dad a miserable man."
"What id the matter? I repeat," said Hongray growing hot.
"She's witty, pretty, rich and sweet... Then- mille diables!- what?"
The Marquis moaned: "Alas! that I your dreams of bliss should banish;
It happened in the days gone-by, when I was Don Juanish.
Her mother was your mother's friend, and we were much together.
Ah well! You know how such things end. (I blame it on the weather.)
We had a very sultry spell. One day, mon Dieu! I kissed her.
My son, you can't wed Mirabelle. She is... she is your sister."

So broken-hearted Hongray went and roamed the world around,
Till hunting in the Occident forgetfulness he found.
Then quite recovered, he returned to the paternal nest,
Until one day, with brow that burned, the Marquis he addresses:
"Felicitate me, Father mine; my brain s in a whirl;
For I have found the mate divine, the one, the perfect girl.
She's healthy, wealthy, witching, wise, with loveliness serene.
And Proud am I to win a prize, half angel and half queen."
"'Tis time to wed," the Marquis said, "You must be twenty-seven.
But who is she whose lot may be to make your life a heaven?"
"A friend of childhood," Hongray cried. "For whom regard you feel.
The maid I fain would be my bride is Raymonde de la Veal."

The Marquis de la Glaciere collapsed upon the floor,
And all the words he uttered were: "Forgive me, I implore.
My sins are heavy on my head. Profound remorse I feel.
My son, you simply cannot wed with Raymonde de la Veal."
Then Hongray spoke voice that broke, and corrugated brow:
"Inform me, Sir, why you demur. What is the matter now?"
The Marquis wailed: "My wicked youth! Ah! how it gives me pain.
But let me tell the awful truth, my agony explain...
A cursed Casanova I; a finished flirt her mother;
And so alas! it came to pass we fell for one another:
Our lives were blent in bliss and joy, The sequel you may gather:
You cannot wed Raymonde, my boy, because I am...her father."

Again sore-stricken Hongray fled, and sought his grief to smother,
And as he writhed upon his bed to him there came his Mother.
The Marquise de la Glaciere was snowy-haired and frigid.
Her wintry featured chiselled were, her manner stiff and rigid.
The pride of race was in her face, her bearing high and stately,
And sinking down by Hongray's side she spoke to him sedately:
"What ails you so, my precious child? What throngs of sorrow smite you?
Why are your eyes so wet and wild? Come tell me, I invite you."
"Ah! if I told you, Mother dear," said Hongray with a shiver,
"Another's honour would, I fear, be in the soup forever."
"Nay trust," she begged, "My only boy, the fond Mama who bore you.
Perhaps I may, your grief alloy. Please tell me, I implore you."

And so his story Hngray told, in accents choked and muffled.
The Marquise listened calm and cold, her visage quite unruffled.
He told of Mirabelle du Veau, his agony revealing.
For Raymonde de la Veal his woe was quite beyond concealing.
And still she sat without a word, her look so high and haughty,
You'd ne'er have thought it was her l
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:04 min read
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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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