The King of Yvetot

There was a king of Yvetot, Of whom renown hath little said, Who let all thoughts of glory go, And dawdled half his days a-bed; And every night, as night came round, By Jenny, with a nightcap crowned, Slept very sound: Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he! That's the kind of king for me. And every day it came to pass, That four lusty meals made he; And, step by step, upon an ass, Rode abroad, his realms to see; And wherever he did stir, What think you was his escort, sir? Why, an old cur. Sing ho, ho, ho ! &c. If e'er he went into excess, 'Twas from a somewhat lively thirst; But he who would his subjects bless, Odd's fish!—must wet his whistle first; And so from every cask they got, Our king did to himself allot, At least a pot. Sing ho, ho! &c. To all the ladies of the land, A courteous king, and kind, was he; The reason why you'll understand, They named him Pater Patriae. Each year he called his fighting men, And marched a league from home, and then Marched back again. Sing ho, ho! &c. Neither by force nor false pretence, He sought to make his kingdom great, And made (O princes, learn from hence),— "Live and let live," his rule of state. 'Twas only when he came to die, That his people who stood by, Were known to cry. Sing ho, ho! &c. The portrait of this best of kings Is extant still, upon a sign That on a village tavern swings, Famed in the country for good wine. The people in their Sunday trim, Filling their glasses to the brim, Look up to him, Singing ha, ha, ha! and he, he, he! That's the sort of king for me.

This poem is in the public domain.