The Looking-Glass (A Country Dance)

by


    Queen Bess was Harry’s daughter. Stand forward partners all!
    In ruff and stomacher and gown
    She danced King Philip down-a down,
    And left her shoe to show ’twas true,
    (The very tune I’m playing you)
    In Norgem at Brickwall!

    The Queen was in her chamber, and she was middling old,
    Her petticoat was satin, and her stomacher was gold.
    Backward and forward and sideways did she pass,
    Making up her mind to face the cruel looking-glass.
    The cruel looking-glass that will never show a lass
    As comely or as kindly or as young as what she was!

    Queen Bess was Harry’s daughter. Now hand your partners all!

    The Queen was in her chamber, a-combing of her hair.
    There came Queen Mary’s spirit and It stood behind her chair,
    Singing “Backward and forward and sideways may you pass,
    But I will stand behind you till you face the looking-glass.
    The cruel looking-glass that will never show a lass
    As lovely or unlucky or as lonely as I was!”

    Queen Bess was Harry’s daughter. Now turn your partners all!

    The Queen was in her chamber, a-weeping very sore,
    There came Lord Leicester’s spirit and It scratched upon the door,
    Singing “Backward and forward and sideways may you pass,
    But I will walk beside you till you face the looking-glass.
    The cruel looking-glass that will never show a lass,
    As hard and unforgiving or as wicked as you was!”

    Queen Bess was Harry’s daughter. Now kiss your partners all !

    The Queen was in her chamber, her sins were on her head.
    She looked the spirits up and down and statelily she said:,
    “Backward and forward and sideways though I’ve been,
    Yet I am Harry’s daughter and I am England’s Queen!”
    And she faced the looking-glass (and whatever else there was)
    And she saw her day was over and she saw her beauty pass
    In the cruel looking-glass, that can always hurt a lass
    More hard than any ghost there is or any man there was!

0

facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest


Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add The Looking-Glass (A Country Dance) to your own personal library.

Return to the Rudyard Kipling Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Lost Legion (poem)

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson