The Haughty Snail-King

(1998)

"The Haughty Snail-King" is the third song of Jake Heggie's song cycle Songs to the Moon.

The Haughty Snail-King
by Vachel Lindsay


(What Uncle William told the Children)


Twelve snails went walking after night.
They'd creep an inch or so,
Then stop and bug their eyes
And blow.
Some folks . . . are . . . deadly . . . slow.
Twelve snails went walking yestereve,
Led by their fat old king.
They were so dull their princeling had
No sceptre, robe or ring --
Only a paper cap to wear
When nightly journeying.


This king-snail said: "I feel a thought
Within. . . . It blossoms soon. . . .
O little courtiers of mine, . . .
I crave a pretty boon. . . .
Oh, yes . . . (High thoughts with effort come
And well-bred snails are ALMOST dumb.)
"I wish I had a yellow crown
As glistering . . . as . . . the moon."


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