Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > French
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX TO AUTHORS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. X–XI: French
 
The Little Man in Gray
By Pierre Jean de Béranger (1780–1857)
 
From “Songs”

IN Paris lives a little man
  Who’s always dressed in gray:
His chubby cheeks like apples glow;
His pockets can’t a stiver show;
  Yet, happy as the day,        5
“Ho,” quoth the little man in gray,
“I laugh at all things—that’s my way!”
And, sure, the gayest of the gay
Is he, the little man in gray!
 
In running after pretty girls,        10
  In running up a score,
Hobnobbing, singing, into debt
He runs head over heels; and yet
  When duns or bailiffs bore,
“Ho,” quoth the little man in gray,        15
“I laugh at all things—that’s my way!
And, sure, the gayest of the gay
Is he, the little man in gray!
 
Let rain into his garret leak;
  Let him, unconscious soul,        20
Sleep in it; ’mid December’s snow
Let him his freezing fingers blow,
  For lack of wood or coal;
“Ho,” quoth the little man in gray,
“I laugh at all things—that’s my way!        25
And, sure, the gayest of the gay
Is he, the little man in gray!
 
His comely wife some mode adopts
  For picking up gay dresses;
So that the gayer she appears,        30
The more at him the public jeers:
  But while the truth he guesses,
“Ho,” quoth the little man in gray,
“I laugh at all things—that’s my way!”
And, sure, the gayest of the gay        35
Is he, the little man in gray!
 
When on his tattered bed the gout
  Has brought him to his level;
And when the priest, called in, begins
To talk to him of all his sins,        40
  Of Death, and of the devil,
“Ho,” quoth the little man in gray,
“I laugh at all things—that’s my way!”
And, sure, the gayest of the gay
Is he, the little man in gray!        45
 
 
CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX TO AUTHORS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors