Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
The Curé’s Progress
Austin Dobson (1840–1921)
MONSIEUR the Curé down the street
  Comes with his kind old face,—
With his coat worn bare, and his straggling hair,
  And his green umbrella-case.
You may see him pass by the little “Grande Place,”        5
  And the tiny “Hôtel-de-Ville;”
He smiles as he goes to the fleuriste Rose,
  And the pompier Théophile.
He turns, as a rule, through the “Marché” cool,
  Where the noisy fish-wives call;        10
And his compliment pays to the “belle Thérèse,”
  As she knits in her dusky stall.
There ’s a letter to drop at the locksmith’s shop,
  And Toto, the locksmith’s niece,
Has jubilant hopes, for the Curé gropes        15
  In his tails for a pain d’épice.
There ’s a little dispute with a merchant of fruit,
  Who is said to be heterodox,
That will ended be with a “Ma foi, oui!”
  And a pinch from the Curé’s box.        20
There is also a word that no one heard
  To the furrier’s daughter Lou;
And a pale cheek fed with a flickering red,
  And a “Bon Dieu garde M’sieu’!”
But a grander way for the Sous-Préfet,        25
  And a bow for Ma’am’selle Anne;
And a mock “off-hat” to the Notary’s cat,
  And a nod to the Sacristan:—
For ever through life the Curé goes
  With a smile on his kind old face—        30
With his coat worn bare, and his straggling hair,
  And his green umbrella-case.


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