The King’s Son by Bliss Carman

“Daughter, daughter, marry no man,
Though a king’s son come to woo,
If he be not more than blessing or ban
To the secret soul of you.”

“‘Tis the King’s son, indeed, I ween,
And he left me even but now,
And he shall make me a dazzling queen,
With a gold crown on my brow.”

“And are you one that a golden crown,
Or the lust of a name can lure?
You had better wed with a country clown,
And keep your young heart pure.”

“Mother, the King has sworn, and said
That his son shall wed but me;
And I must gang to the prince’s bed,
Or a traitor I shall be.”

“Oh, what care you for an old man’s wrath?
Or what care you for a king?
I had rather you fled on an outlaw’s path,
A rebel, a hunted thing.”

“Mother, it is my father’s will,
For the King has promised him fair
A goodly earldom of hollow and hill,
And a coronet to wear.”

“Then woe is worth a father’s name,
For it names your dourest foe!
I had rather you came the child of shame
Than to have you fathered so.”

“Mother, I shall have gold enow,
Though love be never mine,
To buy all else that the world can show
Of good and fair and fine.”

“Oh, what care you for a prince’s gold,
Or the key of a kingdom’s till?
I had rather see you a harlot bold
That sins of her own free will.

“For I have been wife for the stomach’s sake,
And I know whereof I say;
A harlot is sold for a passing slake,
But a wife is sold for aye.

See also  At Verona by Oscar Wilde

“Body and soul for a lifetime sell,
And the price of the sale shall be
That you shall be harlot and slave as well
Until Death set you free.”

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