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The Lay Of The Lady Lorraine
by [?]

The Lady Lorraine was sweet and fair;
The Lady Lorraine was young;
She had wonderful eyes and glorious hair,
And a voice of a cadence rich and rare;
Oh, she was a lady beyond compare–
By all were her praises sung,
Till valley and plain
Took up the refrain,
And rang with the praise of the Lady Lorraine.

And besides all charms of form and face,
There were other attractions about Her Grace;
Besides her delicate, lily-white hands,
She had rolling acres and broad, rich lands;
Besides her patrician coat of arms,
She had far-reaching forests and fertile farms;
And of many an ancient and wide domain
The beautiful lady was chatelaine.
So of course at her door
There were suitors galore;
They came by the dozen, and came by the score.

They came in droves, and they came in hordes,
Titled nobility,–princes, lords,
Dukes and marquises, viscounts and peers,
Ambassadors, marshals, grandees, grenadiers,
Barons and baronets, earls, and esquires,
Illustrious sons of illustrious sires:
But ’twas ever in vain
They sought to attain
The heart and the hand of the Lady Lorraine.
And day after day
They turned sadly away;
For the Lady Lorraine continued to say,
Decidedly, certainly, stubbornly, “Nay!”
She cared not for wreaths of laurel or bay,
Their titles or rent rolls or uniforms gay,
Their medals or ribbons or gaudy display,
Their splendid equipment, demeanor, or bearing;
She observed not their manners, nor what they were wearing;
Their marvellous exploits for her had no charms:
Their prowess in tourney, their valor at arms;
Their wondrous achievements of brawn or of brain,–
All, all were as naught to the Lady Lorraine.
To each suitor she’d say, with her hand on her heart,
“Sir, I ask of you only that you will depart.”

In vain they entreated, they begged and they plead,
They coaxed and besought, and they sullenly said
That she was hard-hearted, unfeeling, and cruel.
They challenged each other to many a duel;
They scowled and they scolded, they sulked and they sighed,
But they could not win Lady Lorraine for a bride.

Now the reason for this, as you may have divined,
Was because in her maidenly heart was enshrined
The image of one who was just to her mind:
Who was loving and kind,
To whose faults she was blind,–
The lord of her heart, and the love of her life,
To whom she had promised to be a fond wife.
Her Highness was happy, for even now he
Was hastening to her across the blue sea.
He had written to say he was then on the way,
And would greet his fair lady on Christmas day.

* * *

‘Twas Christmas eve. In the old oak hall
Preparations were made for the Christmas ball.
Gay garlands were hung from ceiling and wall;
The Yule log was laid, the tables arrayed,
And the Lady Lorraine and her whole cavalcade,
From the pompous old steward to the scullery-maid,
Were all in a fluster,
Excitement and bluster,
And everything shone with a marvellous lustre.
Such savory viands the larders presented;
Such wondrous confections the bakers invented:
Such pasties and cates of eccentric design;
Such sparkling decanters of rarest old wine;
And ready at hand was the great wassail-bowl,
And the jolly old boar’s head, with lemon, so droll.
The nook for musicians was carefully planned,
And carols and glees would be played by the band.