Old King Cole Was a merry old soul And a merry old soul was he He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl and he called for his fiddlers three
after Lord Tennyson
Cole, that unwearied prince of Colchester, Growing more gay with age and with long days Deeper in laughter and desire of life As that Virginian climber on our walls Flames scarlet with the fading of the year; Called for his wassail and that other weed Virginian also, from the western woods Where English Raleigh checked the boast of Spain, And lighting joy with joy, and piling up Pleasure as crown for pleasure, bade me bring Those three, the minstrels whose emblazoned coats Shone with the oyster-shells of Colchester; And these three played, and playing grew more fain Of mirth and music; till the heathen came And the King slept beside the northern sea.
after W.B. Yeats
Of an old King in a story From the grey sea-folk I have heard Whose heart was no more broken Than the wings of a bird.
As soon as the moon was silver And the thin stars began, He took his pipe and his tankard, Like an old peasant man.
And three tall shadows were with him And came at his command; And played before him for ever The fiddles of fairyland.
And he died in the young summer Of the world's desire; Before our hearts were broken Like sticks in a fire.
after Walt Whitman
Me clairvoyant, Me conscious of you, old camarado, Needing no telescope, lorgnette, field-glass, opera-glass, myopic pince-nez, Me piercing two thousand years with eye naked and not ashamed; The crown cannot hide you from me, Musty old feudal-heraldic trappings cannot hide you from me, I perceive that you drink. (I am drinking with you. I am as drunk as you are.) I see you are inhaling tobacco, puffing, smoking, spitting (I do not object to your spitting), You prophetic of American largeness, You anticipating the broad masculine manners of these States; I see in you also there are movements, tremors, tears, desire for the melodious, I salute your three violinists, endlessly making vibrations, Rigid, relentless, capable of going on for ever; They play my accompaniment; but I shall take no notice of any accompaniment; I myself am a complete orchestra. So long.