Wednesday, January 05, 2011

some light verse


MANY simple folk, (it’s queer)
Used to patronise the seer
And pay cash down for magic spell
Perchance a Horoscope as well.

Or open wide at special rate
That musty tome the Book of Fate;
Or seek the Philtre’s subtle aid
To win the hand of some fair maid.

We mus’nt miss the Troubadours
Who went forth on their singing tours,
Twanging harps and trilling lays
To maids of medieval days.

And Oh! the right good merry times
With Maskers, Mummers and the Mimes,
Hobby horses gaily prancing,
Bats and Bowls and Maypole dancing.

When folks would take a lengthy journey
To see the Knights at Joust or Tourney:
Or watch the early English ‘Knuts’
Show their skill at Archery butts.

Then come gloomy History pages
On torture of the Middle ages;
The clanking fetters grim and black,
The thumbscrew and the awful rack,

The horrors of the dungeon deep
Beneath the moat or castle keep,
Rusty locks and heavy keys
And—let us change the subject, please.

--from A Humorous History of England, by Charles Harrison