Dramatic Lyrics
Robert Browning
Verse
2:39 h
Level 8
Dramatic Lyrics is a collection of English poems by Robert Browning, first published in 1842 as the third volume in a series of self-published books entitled Bells and Pomegranates. It contains several of the poet's best-known pieces, including My Last Duchess, Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, Porphyria's Lover, and Johannes Agricola in Meditation.

Dramatic Lyrics

by
Robert Browning


Introduction

The third number of Bells and Pomegranates, published in 1842, contained a collection of short poems under the general head of Dramatic Lyrics. When Browning made his first collective edition, he redistributed all his groups of poems, retaining this title and making it cover some of the poems included in the original group, but many more first published under other headings. The arrangement here given is that adopted finally by Browning. “Such Poems,” he says, “as the majority in this volume (Dramatic Lyrics) might also come properly enough, I suppose, under the head of Dramatic Pieces; being, though often Lyric in expression, always Dramatic in principle, and so many utterances of so many imaginary persons, not mine. Part of the Poems were inscribed to my dear friend, John Kenyon; I hope the whole may obtain the honor of an association with his memory.”

The third of the Cavalier Tunes was originally entitled My Wife Gertrude. The three songs have been set to music by Dr. Villiers Stanford.


Cavalier Tunes

I. Marching Along

Kentish Sir Byng stood for his King,
Bidding the crop-headed Parliament swing:
And, pressing a troop unable to stoop
And see the rogues flourish and honest folk droop,
Marched them along, fifty-score strong,
Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song.

God for King Charles! Pym and such carles
To the Devil that prompts ’em their treasonous parles!
Cavaliers, up! Lips from the cup,
Hands from the pasty, nor bite take nor sup
Till you’re —
Chorus. — Marching along, fifty-score strong,
Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song.

Hampden to hell, and his obsequies’ knell.
Serve Hazelrig, Fiennes, and young Harry as well!
England, good cheer! Rupert is near!
Kentish and loyalists, keep we not here,
Cho. — Marching along, fifty-score strong,
Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song?

Then, God for King Charles! Pym and his snarls
To the Devil that pricks on such pestilent carles!
Hold by the right, you double your might;
So, onward to Nottingham, fresh for the fight,
Cho. — March we along, fifty-score strong,
Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song!


II. Give a Rouse

King Charles, and who’ll do him right now?
King Charles, and who’s ripe for fight now?
Give a rouse: here’s, in hell’s despite now,
King Charles!

Who gave me the goods that went since?
Who raised me the house that sank once?
Who helped me to gold I spent since?
Who found me in wine you drank once?
Cho. — King Charles, and who’ll do him right now?
King Charles, and who’s ripe for fight now?
Give a rouse: here’s, in hell’s despite now,
King Charles!

To whom used my boy George quaff else,
By the old fool’s side that begot him?
For whom did he cheer and laugh else,
While Noll’s damned troopers shot him?
Cho. — King Charles, and who’ll do him right now?
King Charles, and who’s ripe for fight now?
Give a rouse: here’s, in hell’s despite now,
King Charles!