Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Norman Inquest

This appeared in Plainsong.

King Harold had an arrow in his eye,
Which made his princeps difficult and gauche.
It bumped the mirror when he tried to shave
And hung up on his undershirt. His thralls
And churls inclined to sniggers as he passed--
Those bobbing feathers. Polity declined.
He bore sharp pain, like megrims, and he'd miss
The stirrups, if they'd been invented yet
(1066--he couldn't quite recall
If Saddler had made stirrups, though Clyde's Dale
Was large as life), and distance was too hard
To calibrate--he fell into a well
And had to be winched back up like a bucket,
A frog stuck in his jerkin. And the rot,
Decomposition in his nether parts:
How difficult to saunter like a king.
Then language withered like a hag-hexed crop.
Most third-declension verbs were hard to follow,
All Norman now, as if the iron head
Had tweaked all 3 bones in his inner ear
And no more freemen could decline a king
And field was just as hard as fealty.

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