A Parody

Once upon a midnight dreary, as I sauntered weak and weary
From a jovial fellow-student's room upon another floor;
As I sauntered, sadder, sicker, suddenly I heard a snicker,
And the lights began to flicker, and right out went three or four.
"Some infernal trick!" I muttered, as I neared my chamber door;
"I won't stand this any more."
Ah! distinctly I remember, it was in my first September,
And each night-attired member fled like ghost upon the floor.
Lamp I vainly sought to borrow, though I threatened on the morrow
They would catch it to their sorrow, they would catch it sad and sore -
I would have them on the morrow the dread Faculty before -
Fearful here for evermore.
And the hushed and humorous talking, and the doors' successive locking
Filled me - thrilled me with fantastic terrors often felt before;
So that now to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating
"'Tis some prank they are repeating that they played the night before,
"Sewn, perchance, my couch's covering, firmly fixed my chamber door,
"Effigy upon my floor."
Then toward my chamber turning, for my wonted slumber yearning,
Straightway I could hear them laughing somewhat louder than before;
"Surely," said I, "surely that is ominous, foreboding that is,
"Let me see, then, what the rat is, and this mystery explore -
"I'll discover what the rat is, and this mystery explore;
"For methinks 'tis something more."
Open then I flung the portal, and - oh! miserable mortal!
Down there fell a pan of water in a most tremendous pour;
Not the least cessation made it, not a second stopped or stayed it;
But before I could evade it, down it fell from off the door -
Fell, - and with its icy current chilled me to the very core;
This there was, what could be more?
Deep into the darkness staring, long I stood there thundering, tearing;
Shouting, threatening threats no mortal ever dared to threat before;
And my face was wild and ashen, and to aggravate my passion,
Each, in an insulting fashion, thrust his head from out his door;
And the worst of all the wretches met me with a mocking roar,
Asking, - Had I got to shore?
Instantly my speech grew stronger; I could stand it now no longer;
"Cur," said I, "or madman, my forgiveness now implore,
"For my patience now is sapping, and the truth is this is capping
"What too often has been happing, what in future shall be o'er,
"Now most humbly my forgiveness I demand that you implore.
But he answered, "Nevermore."
And the wretches, unremitting, still are sitting, still are sitting -
Sitting each successive session on the freshmen as of yore:
Who, with burning indignation, and with angry imprecation,
Undergo initiation to this school of modern lore,
And the rackets now resounding through this school of life; and lore
Shall be silenced - nevermore.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:31 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 2,758
Words 505
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

W M MacKeracher

William Mackay MacKeracher (1871-1913) was a Canadian poet. more…

All W M MacKeracher poems | W M MacKeracher Books

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    Are you a poetry master?

    What is the term for the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
    A Dithyramb
    B Line break
    C A turn
    D Enjambment