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Let the Brothels of Paris be opened

Notebook 60a - Let the Brothels of Paris be opened
Notebook 60b - Let the Brothels of Paris be opened

Notebook 60c - Let the Brothels of Paris be opened
Notebook 60d - Let the Brothels of Paris be opened
Notebook 60e - Let the Brothels of Paris be opened

1st reading:[1]Edit


 * * *

"Let the Brothels of Paris be opened
"With many an alluring dance
"To awake the Pestilence thro' the city,"
Said the beautiful Queen of France.

The King awoke on his couch of gold,
As soon as he heard these tidings told:
"Arise & come, both fife & drum,
"And the Famine shall eat both crust & crumb."

Then he swore a great & solemn Oath:
"To kill the people I am loth,
But if they rebel, they must go to hell:
They shall have a Priest & a passing bell."

Then old Nobodaddy aloft
Farted & belch'd & cough'd,
And said, "I love hanging & drawing & quartering
"Every bit as well as war & slaughtering.
"Damn praying & singing,
"Unless they will bring in
"The blood of ten thousand by fighting or swinging."

The Queen of France just touched this Globe,
And the Pestilence darted from her robe;
But our good Queen quite grows to the ground,
And a great many suckers grow all around.

Fayette beside King Lewis stood;
He saw him sign his hand;
And soon he saw the famine rage
About the fruitful land.

Fayette beheld the Queen to smile
And wink her lovely eye;
And soon he saw the pestilence
From street to street to fly.

Fayette beheld the King & Queen
In tears & iron bound;
But mute Fayette wept tear for tear,
And guarded them around.

Fayette, Fayette, thou'rt bought & sold,
And sold is thy happy morrow;
Thou gavest the tears of Pity away
In exchange for the tears of sorrow.

Who will exchange his own fire side
For the steps of another's door?
Who will exchange his wheaten loaf
For the links of a dungeon floor?

O, who would smile on the wintry seas,
& Pity the stormy roar?
Or who will exchange his new born child
For the dog at the wintry door?

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2nd reading:[2]Edit


         *

Let the Brothels of Paris be opened
With many an alluring dance
To awake the Physicians thro the city
Said the beautiful Queen of France

Then old Nobodaddy aloft
Farted & belchd & coughd
And said I love hanging & drawing & quartering
Every bit as well as war & slaughtering

Then he swore a great & solemn Oath
To kill the people I am loth
But If they rebel they must go to hell
They shall have a Priest & a passing bell

The King awoke on his couch of gold
As soon as he heard these tidings told
Arise & come both fife & drum
And the [Famine] shall eat both crust & crumb

The Queen of France just touchd this Globe
And the Pestilence darted from her robe
But our good Queen quite grows to the ground
And a great many suckers grow all around

         *

Who will exchange his own fire side
For the stone of anothers door
Who will exchange his wheaten loaf
For the links of a dungeon floor

Fayette beheld the King & Queen
In curses & iron boundt
But mute Fayette wept tear for tear
And guarded them around

O who would smile on the wintry seas
& Pity the stormy roar
Or who will exchange his new born child
For the dog at the wintry door



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  1. "Blake Complete Writings", ed. Geoffrey Keynes, pub. OUP 1966/85, p. 891-2.
  2. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 499-500. Erdman divided the poem in two.
 

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.