From Part II: Serious Hits, from Humorous Hits and How to Hold an Audience, edited by Grenville Kleiser; Funk & Wagnalls; New York and London, 1912; pp. 314-315.
BY M. E. W. SHERWOOD
How old I am! I’m eighty years. I’ve worked both hard and
Yet patient as my life has been, one dearest sight I have not seen,
It almost seems a wrong. A dream I had when life was young.
Alas! our dreams, they come not true.
I thought to see fair Carcassonne,
That lovely city, Carcassonne.
One sees it dimly from the height beyond the mountain blue.
Fain would I walk five weary leagues, I do not mind the road’s
Thro’ morn and evening’s dew.
But bitter frosts would fall at night, and on the grapes that
I could not go to Carcassonne,
I never went to Carcassonne.
They say it is as gay all times as holidays at home.
The gentles ride in gay attire, and in the sun each gilded spire
Shoots up like those at Rome.
The bishop the procession leads, the generals curb their prancing
Alas! I saw not Carcassonne.
Alas! I know not Carcassonne.
Our vicar’s right. He preaches loud and bids us to beware.
He says, “Oh, guard the weakest part and most the traitor in the
Against ambition’s snare.”
Perhaps in autumn I can find two sunny days with gentle wind,
I then could go to Carcassonne,
I still could go to Carcassonne.
My God and Father, pardon me, if this my wish offends.
One sees some hoper more high than he in age, as in his infancy
To which his heart ascends.
My wife, my son have seen Narbonne, my grandson went to
But I have not seen Carcassonne,
But I have not seen Carcassonne.
Thus sighed a peasant bent with age, half dreaming in his chair.
I said, “My friend, come, go with me to-morrow; thine eyes shall
see those streets
That seem so fair.”
That night there came for passing soul the church-bell’s low and
He never saw gay Carcassonne.
Who has not known a Carcassonne?