The King and Queen of Hearts
The King and Queen of Hearts
The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, ed. E. V. Lucas, III (London: Methuen, 1903): 336-50. PR 4860 A2 1968 Robarts Library. [From a facsimile owned by Edith Pollock.]
2[She made some Tarts]
3[All on a Summers day]
4[The Knave of Hearts]
5[He stole those Tarts]
6[And took them quite away]
7[The King of Hearts]
8[Call'd for those Tarts]
9[And beat the Knave full sore]
10[The Knave of Hearts]
11[Brought back those Tarts]
12[And vow'd he'd steal no more]
##. The Queen of Hearts [Page image]1.1
1.2 She whom all Hearts own for their Queen.
1.3 Three Pages are in waiting by;
1.4 He with the umbrella is her Spy,
1.5 To spy out rogueries in the dark,
1.6 And smell a rat as you shall mark.
##. She made some Tarts [Page image]2.1
2.2 Who does not like Cook's dirty hands,
2.3 Makes the court pastry all herself.
2.5 Watches each sugarly sweet ingredient,
2.6 And slily thinks of an expedient.
##. All on a Summers day [Page image]3.1
3.2 How bright and fine is every thing!
3.3 After their dam the chickens run,
3.4 The green leaves glitter in the sun,
3.5 While youths and maids in merry dance
3.6 Round rustic may poles do advance
##. The Knave of Hearts [Page image]4.1
4.2 Great Lords ride with them for a show
4.3 With grooms & courtiers, a great store;
4.4 Some ride behind, & some before.
4.5 Pambo the first of these does pass,
4.6 And for more state rides on an Ass.
##. He stole those Tarts [Page image]5.1
5.2 Cannot the good Queen turn her back,
5.3 But you must be so nimble hasty
5.4 To come and steal away her pastry
5.5 You think you're safe, there's one sees all,
5.6 And understands, though he's but small
##. And took them quite away [Page image]6.1
6.2 I wish for my part all the cooks
6.3 Would come and baste him with a ladle
6.4 As long as ever they were able
6.5 To keep his fingers ends from itching
6.6 After sweet things in the Queen's kitchen
##. The King of Hearts [Page image]7.1
7.2 The monarch stands, how square, how bluff!
7.4 Just like this King did Harry stand;
7.5 And just so amorous, sweet, and willing,
7.6 As this Queen stands stood Anna Bullen.
##. Call'd for those Tarts [Page image]8.1
8.2 The knives are wip'd and cheese put on
8.3 The King aloud for Tarts does bawl,
8.4 Tarts, tarts, resound through all the Hall
8.5 Pambo with tears denies the Fact,
##. And beat the Knave full sore [Page image]9.1
9.2 See what a plight rogue Pambo's in.
9.3 The King lays on his blows so stout,
9.4 The Tarts for fear come tumbling out
9.5 O King! be merciful as just,
9.6 You'll beat poor Pambo into dust
##. The Knave of Hearts [Page image]10.1
10.2 In abject sort upon two legs!
10.3 Good Mr Knave, give me my due,
10.4 I like a tart as well as you,
10.5 But I would starve on good roast Beef,
10.6 Ere I would look so like a thief.
##. Brought back those Tarts [Page image]11.1
11.2 The Queen swears, that is not the whole.
11.3 What should poor Pambo do? hard prest
11.4 Owns he has eaten up the rest.
11.5 The King takes back as lawful debt,
11.6 Not all, but all that he can get.
##. And vow'd he'd steal no more [Page image]12.1
12.2 Vows he will be a thief no more.
12.3 O King your heart no longer harden,
12.4 You've got the tarts, give him his pardon.
12.5 The best time to forgive a sinner
12.6 Is always after a good dinner.
13.7 "How say you, Sir? tis all a joke --
13.8 Great King's love tarts like other folk!"
13.9 If for a truth you'll not receive it,
13.10 Pray, view the picture, and believe it.
13.11 Sly Pambo too has got a share,
13.12 And eats it snug behind the chair.
14.13 Their Majesties so well have fed,
14.14 The tarts have got up in their head,
14.15 Or may be 'twas the wine!" hush, gipsey!
14.16 Great Kings & Queens indeed get tipsey!
14.17 Now, Pambo, is the time for you:
14.18 Beat little Tell-Tale black & blue.
1] Attributed to Charles Lamb on the basis of his claim in a letter of February 1, 1806 (488). The poem's characters resemble the two highest cards in the suit of hearts, King and Queen, and the Jack of Clubs (cf. note to 2.4, and 5.1). Back to Line
2.4] Pambo: a diminutive (?) of Pam, the knave of clubs and highest card in a game of the same name. Back to Line
7.3] our eighth Harry: Henry VIII, whose second wife, Anne Boleyn (1507-36; "Anna Bullen" at 7.6), was executed by him for adultery. Back to Line
8.6] Mungo: a character so-called from the poor-quality wool used in his livery. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
The King and Queen of Hearts Showing how notably the Queen made her Tarts. and how scurvily the Knave stole them away. with other particulars belonging thereunto ([London]: Thomas Hodgkins, 1805). Cf. The king and queen of hearts: with the rogueries of the knave who stole the queen's pies: illustrated in fifteen elegant engravings (London: M. J. Godwin, 1809). PR 4862 K5 1809a Victoria College Special Collections
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