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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On a Nankin Plate
By Henry Austin Dobson (1840–1921)
 
Villanelle

“AH me, but it might have been!
Was there ever so dismal a fate?”
Quoth the little blue mandarin.
 
“Such a maid as was never seen:
She passed, tho’ I cried to her, ‘Wait,’—        5
Ah me, but it might have been!
 
“I cried, ‘O my Flower, my Queen,
Be mine!’—’Twas precipitate,”
Quoth the little blue mandarin.
 
“But then … she was just sixteen,—        10
Long-eyed, as a lily straight,—
Ah me, but it might have been!
 
“As it was, from her palankeen
She laughed—‘You’re a week too late!’”
(Quoth the little blue mandarin.)        15
 
“That is why, in a mist of spleen
I mourn on this Nankin Plate.
Ah me, but it might have been!”
Quoth the little blue mandarin.
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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