English Poem “The Pleasure of Princes:” of poet Alec Derwent Hope complete poem with summery for Students.

The Pleasure of Princes:

Alec Derwent Hope

What pleasures have great princes? These: to know

Themselves reputed mad with pride or power;

To speak few words — few words and short bring low

This ancient house, that city with flame devour;

To make old men, their father’s enemies,

Drunk on the vintage of the former age;

To have great painters show their mistresses

Naked to the succeeding time; engage

The cunning of able, treacherous ministers

To serve, despite themselves, the cause they hate,

And leave a prosperous kingdom to their heirs

Nursed by the caterpillars of the state;

To keep their spies in good men’s hearts; to read

The malice of the wise, and act betimes;

To hear the Grand Remonstrances of greed

Led by the pure; cheat justice of her crimes;

To beget worthless sons and, being old,

By starlight climb the battlements, and while

The pacing sentry hugs himself for cold,

Keep vigil like a lover, muse and smile,

And think, to see from the grim castle steep

The midnight city below rejoice and shine:

There my great demon grumbles in his sleep

And dreams of his destruction, and of mine.”

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