Thursday 22 September 2011

Lay Grouter, Four Fingers Full

Yet Grouter had earlier made good his escape
Before the chair it was sent to the tree
Intent as he was on debauchery hale
It served him best, of the court, to be free

He had walked hardly far when from high up above
He was hailed in a whispering drone
By a single-winged angel all painted in grey
Sat atop of a painted grey throne

With the crowd in the court and the street therefore clear
The angel felt able to speak
So he called to young Grouter to climb to his roost
Where the wind made the lead gables creak

But the climbing was awkward for all over the brick
Was a thin shining sheen of fresh prayer
And though sticky as spit on a salesman’s palm
Young Grouter was soon in the air

Though light as a promise received from a Lord
Young Grouter did nonetheless fall
And struck hard a preacher’s wife square on the head
Who sent up a quarrelsome call

Young man, if in seeking to travel about
The preacher’s wife said with a scowl
Pray remember that roads are the beast that is best
Unless the beast that you are, is an owl

And I see by your manner and the boots that you wear
That you come from without, from a cave
That further your eyes that do twitch back and forth
Mark you out as a burgling knave

Our Grouter protested and fell to one knee
That his eyes could not help but to loom
Because in a cave there is never much light
And that light that there is, is all gloom

As for his stoop and his quick little hands?
Young Grouter did not wish to be rude
But his clothes like his hands were terribly small
And if once he stood straight, he’d be nude

The preacher’s wife sighed before pinching his cheek
That hung from his skull like a bag
And asked when our Grouter had lastly been fed?
And if all his clothes were a rag?

He bent and he whispered into her round ear
That his garments were made up of rips
That his meals were marked by what else remained
Of toenails, and dandruff and lips

The youngest, he hissed, of a very large brood
The youngest of fell Mother Droop
Who treasured him best for the length of his bones
And the stock they would make for a soup

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