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Passions in PoetryThe Eve of Crecy
by William Morris

 

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Passions in Poetry Home > All Poems > Classic Poetry > William Morris > The Haystack in the Floods The Haystack in the Floods
William Morris
Poetry | Biography
The Eve of Crecy
by William Morris

Gold on her head, and gold on her feet,
And gold where the hems of her kirtle meet,
And a golden girdle round my sweet, -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

Margaret's maids are fair to see,
Freshly dressed and pleasantly;
Margaret's hair falls down to her knee;
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

If I were rich I would kiss her feet,
I would kiss the place where the gold hems meet,
And the golden girdle round my sweet, -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

Ah me! I have never touched her hand.
When the arriere-ban goes through the land
Six basnets under my pennon stand;
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

And many an one grins under his hood:
"Sir Lambert de Bois, with all his men good,
Has neither food nor firewood!" -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

If I were rich I would kiss her feet,
And the golden girdle of my sweet,
And thereabouts where the gold hems meet, -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

Yet even now it is good to think,
While my few poor varlets grumble and drink,
In my desolate hall where the fires sink, -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

Of Margaret sitting glorious there
In glory of gold and glory of hair,
And glory of glorious face most fair; -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

Likewise tonight I make good cheer
Because this battle draweth near;
For what have I to lose or fear? -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

For, look you, my horse is good to prance
A right fair measure in this war-dance,
Before the eyes of Philip of France, -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

And some time it may hap, perdie,
While my new towers stand up three and three,
And my hall gets painted fair to see, -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

That folks may say: "Times change, by the rood!
For Lambert, banneret of the wood,
Has heaps of food and firewood, -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

"And wonderful eyes too, under the hood
Of a damsel of right noble blood;
St Ives for Lambert of the Wood!" -
Ah! qu'elle est belle la Marguerite!

 

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