Ode to the Fleur de Lys Inn at Cranborne

The following poem was composed in honour of the Fleur-de-Lys Inn by Rupert Brooke during a sleepless night when he and Dudley Ward, coming very late into Cranborne, couldn't find the inn which they had picked out from their guide-book because they liked the sound of its name:

In Cranborne town two inns there are,
And one the Fleur-de-Lys is hight,
And one, the inn Victoria,
Where, for it was alone in sight,
We turned in tired and tearful plight
Seeking for warmth, and company,
And food, and beds so soft and white-
These things are at the Fleur-de-Lys.

Where is the ointment for the scar ?
Slippers ? and table deftly dight?
Sofas? tobacco? soap? and ah!
Hot water for a weary wight?
Where is the food, in toil's despite?
The golden eggs? the toast? the tea?
The maid so pretty and polite ?
These things are at the Fleur-de-Lys.

Oh, we have wandered far and far,
We are fordone and wearied quite.
No lamp is lit; there is no star.
Only we know that in the night
We somewhere missed the faces bright,
The lips and eyes we longed to see ;
And Love, and Laughter, and Delight.
These things are at the Fleur-de-Lys.

Prince, it is dark to left and right.
Waits there an inn for you and me?
Fine noppy ale and red firelight ?
These things are at the Fleur-de-Lys.


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