The King of Spades,
He kiss’d the maids,
Which vex’d the Queen full sore.
The Queen of Spades,
She beat those maids,
And turn’d them out of door.
The Knave of Spades
Grieved for those jades,
And did for them implore.
The Queen so gent,
She did relent,
And vow’d she’d ne’er strike more.
The time had come when slowly-dying Rome,
Feeling the death-chill creeping near her heart,
Call’d all the legions home from far-off lands
That haply they might save the life of her
Who once was nam’d the mistress of the world.
So they, home summon’d, swarm’d from over seas,
Climb’d Alps or cross’d the drifting sands that stretch’d
Between them and the much-lov’d mother land,
And left their hard-won conquests to their fate,
An easy prey to lustful heathen hosts.
And bitter was the lot of Britain’s isle,
Deserted by the legions seeking Rome,
Till Arthur came and drave the heathen back
That swept from out the North, and made secure
A realm of peace and reign’d there as its king.
But ere such happy ending had been reach’d,
The land was torn with battle, and the streams
Ran blood, and all the fertile fields were waste,
For none were had to till, and all the isle
Seem’d likelier to be the home of beasts
Than quiet kingdom of a peaceful king.
And once eleven fierce and wolfish kings
‘Gainst Arthur join’d their strengths and prest him sore
And gave his arm
(Oscar Fay Adams)
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Based on Keywords: likelier, jades, slowly-dying, death-chill
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