SOME COMMENDATORY VERSES
URGANDA THE UNKNOWN
To the book of Don Quixote of la Mancha
If to be welcomed by
O Book! thou make thy steady aim,
No empty chatterer will dare
question or dispute thy claim.
But if perchance thou hast a mind
To win of idiots
Lost labour will be thy reward,
Though they'll pretend
They say a goodly shade he finds
Who shelters 'neath a goodly
And such a one thy kindly star
In Bejar bath provided thee:
A royal tree
whose spreading boughs
A show of princely fruit display;
A tree that bears a noble
The Alexander of his day.
Of a Manchegan gentleman
Thy purpose is to
tell the story,
Relating how he lost his wits
O'er idle tales of love and
Of "ladies, arms, and cavaliers:"
A new Orlando Furioso-
Won Dulcinea del Toboso.
Put no vain emblems on thy shield;
figures- that is bragging play.
A modest dedication make,
And give no scoffer room
"What! Alvaro de Luna here?
Or is it Hannibal again?
Or does King Francis
Once more of destiny complain?"
Since Heaven it hath not pleased on
Deep erudition to bestow,
Or black Latino's gift of tongues,
No Latin let
thy pages show.
Ape not philosophy or wit,
Lest one who cannot comprehend,
wry face at thee and ask,
"Why offer flowers to me, my friend?"
Be not a meddler;
Of thine the life thy neighbours lead:
Be prudent; oft the random
Recoils upon the jester's head.
Thy constant labour let it be
thyself an honest name,
For fooleries preserved in print
Are perpetuity of
A further counsel bear in mind:
If that thy roof be made of glass,
shows small wit to pick up stones
To pelt the people as they pass.
Win the attention
of the wise,
And give the thinker food for thought;
Whoso indites frivolities,
Will but by simpletons be sought.
AMADIS OF GAUL
Quixote of la Mancha
Thou that didst imitate that life of mine
in lonely sadness on the great
Rock Pena Pobre sat disconsolate,
penance there to pine;
Thou, whose sole beverage was the bitter brine
Of thine own
tears, and who withouten plate
Of silver, copper, tin, in lowly state
Off the bare
earth and on earth's fruits didst dine;
Live thou, of thine eternal glory sure.
long as on the round of the fourth sphere
The bright Apollo shall his coursers
In thy renown thou shalt remain secure,
Thy country's name in story shall
And thy sage author stand without a peer.
DON BELIANIS OF GREECE
Quixote of la Mancha
In slashing, hewing, cleaving, word and deed,
the foremost knight of chivalry,
Stout, bold, expert, as e'er the world did
Thousands from the oppressor's wrong I freed;
Great were my feats, eternal fame
In love I proved my truth and loyalty;
The hugest giant was a dwarf
Ever to knighthood's laws gave I good heed.
My mastery the Fickle Goddess
And even Chance, submitting to control,
Grasped by the forelock, yielded
to my will.
Yet- though above yon horned moon enthroned
My fortune seems to sit-
great Quixote, still
Envy of thy achievements fills my soul.
THE LADY OF
To Dulcinea del Toboso
Oh, fairest Dulcinea, could it be!
were a pleasant fancy to suppose so-
Could Miraflores change to El Toboso,
London's town to that which shelters thee!
Oh, could mine but acquire that livery
countless charms thy mind and body show so!
Or him, now famous grown- thou mad'st him
Thy knight, in some dread combat could I see!
Oh, could I be released from
By exercise of such coy chastity
As led thee gentle Quixote to
Then would my heavy sorrow turn to joy;
None would I envy, all would
And happiness be mine without alloy.
GANDALIN, SQUIRE OF AMADIS OF
To Sancho Panza, squire of Don Quixote
All hail, illustrious man!
Fortune, when she
Bound thee apprentice to the esquire trade,
Her care and
tenderness of thee displayed,
Shaping thy course from misadventure free.
No longer now
doth proud knight-errantry
Regard with scorn the sickle and the spade;
arrogance less count is made
Than of plain esquire-like simplicity.
I envy thee thy
Dapple, and thy name,
And those alforjas thou wast wont to stuff
With comforts that
thy providence proclaim.
Excellent Sancho! hail to thee again!
To thee alone
the Ovid of our Spain
Does homage with the rustic kiss and cuff.
DONOSO, THE MOTLEY POET,
On Sancho Panza and Rocinante
I am the esquire
Who served Don Quixote of La Man-;
But from his service I retreat-,
Resolved to pass my life discreet-;
For Villadiego, called the Si-,
only in reti-
Was found the secret of well-be-,
According to the "Celesti-:"
divine, except for sin-
By speech too plain, in my opin-
I am that
Great-grandson of great Babie-,
Who, all for being lean and bon-,
one Don Quixote for an own-;
But if I matched him well in weak-,
I never took short
But kept myself in corn by steal-,
A trick I learned from Lazaril-,
with a piece of straw so neat-
The blind man of his wine he cheat-.
To Don Quixote of La Mancha
If thou art not a Peer, peer thou hast
Among a thousand Peers thou art a peer;
Nor is there room for one when thou
Unvanquished victor, great unconquered one!
Orlando, by Angelica
Am I; o'er distant seas condemned to steer,
And to Fame's altars as an
Valour respected by Oblivion.
I cannot be thy rival, for thy
And prowess rise above all rivalry,
Albeit both bereft of wits we
But, though the Scythian or the Moor to tame
Was not thy lot, still thou dost
Love binds us in a fellowship of woe.
THE KNIGHT OF PHOEBUS
Don Quixote of La Mancha
My sword was not to be compared with thine
Spain, marvel of courtesy,
Nor with thy famous arm this hand of mine
That smote from
east to west as lightnings fly.
I scorned all empire, and that monarchy
east held out did I resign
For one glance of Claridiana's eye,
The bright Aurora for
whose love I pine.
A miracle of constancy my love;
And banished by her ruthless
This arm had might the rage of Hell to tame.
But, Gothic Quixote, happier
thou dost prove,
For thou dost live in Dulcinea's name,
And famous, honoured,
wise, she lives in thee.
To Don Quixote of La
Your fantasies, Sir Quixote, it is true,
That crazy brain of
yours have quite upset,
But aught of base or mean hath never yet
Been charged by any
in reproach to you.
Your deeds are open proof in all men's view;
For you went forth
injustice to abate,
And for your pains sore drubbings did you get
From many a
rascally and ruffian crew.
If the fair Dulcinea, your heart's queen,
in her cruelty,
If still your woe be powerless to move her,
In such hard case
your comfort let it be
That Sancho was a sorry go-between:
A booby he,
hard-hearted she, and you no lover.
Between Babieca and
B. "How comes it, Rocinante, you're so lean?"
R. "I'm underfed,
with overwork I'm worn."
B. "But what becomes of all the hay and corn?"
R. "My master
gives me none; he's much too mean."
B. "Come, come, you show ill-breeding, sir, I
'T is like an ass your master thus to scorn."
R. He is an ass, will die an ass,
an ass was born;
Why, he's in love; what's what's plainer to be seen?"
B. "To be in
love is folly?"- R. "No great sense."
B. "You're metaphysical."- R. "From want of
B. "Rail at the squire, then."- R. "Why, what's the good?
I might indeed
complain of him,I grant ye,
But, squire or master, where's the difference?
both as sorry hacks as Rocinante."