Thomas Ford (1580?-1648)
Yet If His Majesty Our Sovereign Lord
1Yet if his majesty our sovereign lord
2Should of his own accord
3Friendly himself invite,
4And say "I'll be your guest to-morrow night."
5How should we stir ourselves, call and command
6All hands to work! "Let no man idle stand.
7Set me fine Spanish tables in the hall,
8See they be fitted all;
9Let there be room to eat,
10And order taken that there want no meat.
11See every sconce and candlestick made bright,
12That without tapers they may give a light.
13Look to the presence: are the carpets spread,
14The dazie o'er the head,
15The cushions in the chairs,
16And all the candles lighted on the stairs?
17Perfume the chambers, and in any case
18Let each man give attendance in his place."
19Thus if the king were coming would we do,
20And 'twere good reason too;
21For 'tis a duteous thing
22To show all honour to an earthly king,
23And after all our travail and our cost,
24So he be pleas'd, to think no labour lost.
25But at the coming of the King of Heaven
26All's set at six and seven:
27We wallow in our sin,
28Christ cannot find a chamber in the inn.
29We entertain him always like a stranger,
30And as at first still lodge him in the manger.
11] sconce: wall-candlestick.
13] presence: the royal chamber.
14] dazie: dais, canopy.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Christ Church MS. 736-8.
First publication date:
Publication date note: Bullen, Lyrics from the Song Books (1888)
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.239, ed. N. J. Endicott; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 1:2002/4/27
Other poems by Thomas Ford