Poems of Andrew Lang
WHAT FRANCESCO SAID OF THE JUBILEE -- BY R. B.
What if we call it fifty years! 'Tis steep!
To climb so high a gradient? Prate of Guides?
Are we not roped? The Danger? Nay, the Turf,
No less nor more than mountain peaks, my friend,
Hears talk of Roping,--but the Jubilee!
Nay, there you have me: old Francesco once
(This was in Milan, in Visconti's time,
Our wild Visconti, with one lip askance,
And beard tongue-twisted in the nostril's nook)
Parlous enough,--these times--what? "So are ours"?
Or any times, i'fegs, to him who thinks, -
Well 'twas in Spring "the frolic myrtle trees
There gendered the grave olive stocks,"--you cry
"A miracle!"--Sordello writeth thus, -
Believe me that indeed 'twas thus, and he,
Francesco, you are with me? Well, there's gloom
No less than gladness in your fifty years,
"And so," said he, "to supper as we may."
"Voltairean?" So you take it; but 'tis late,
And dinner seven, sharp, at Primrose Hill.