The Seer

Somewhere or other, 'tis doubtful where,
In the archives of Gosh is a volume rare,
A precious old classic that nobody reads,
And nobody asks for, and nobody heeds;
Which makes it a classic, and famed thro' the land,
As well-informed persons will quite understand.

'Tis a ponderous work, and 'tis written in prose,
For some mystical reason that nobody knows;
And it tells in a style that is terse and correct
Of the rule of the Swanks and its baneful effect
On the commerce of Gosh, on its morals and trade;
And it quotes a grave prophecy somebody made.

And this is the prophecy, written right bold
On a parchment all tattered and yellow and old;
So old and so tattered that nobody knows
How far into foretime its origin goes.
But this is the writing that set Glugs agog
When 'twas called to their minds by the Mayor of Quog:

When Gosh groaneth bastlie thro Greed and bys plannes
Ye rimer shall mende ye who mendes pottes and pans.

Now, the Mayor of Quog, a small suburb of Gosh,
Was intensely annoyed at the act of King Splosh
In asking the Mayor of Piphel to tea
With himself and the Queen on a Thursday at three;
When the King must have known that the sorriest dog,
If a native of Piphel, was hated in Quog.

An act without precedent!  Quog was ignored!
The Mayor and Council and Charity Board,
They met and considered this insult to Quog;
And they said, ' 'Tis the work of the treacherous Og!
'Tis plain the Og influence threatens the Throne;
And the Swanks are all crazed with this trading in stone.'

Said the Mayor of Quog: 'This has long been foretold
In a prophecy penned by the Seer of old.
We must search, if we'd banish the curse of our time,
For a mender of pots who's a maker of rhyme.
'Tis to him we must look when our luck goes amiss.
But, Oh, where in all Gosh is a Glug such as this?'

Then the Mayor and Council and Charity Board
O'er the archival prophecy zealously pored,
With a pursing of lips and a shaking of heads,
With a searching and prying for possible threads
That would lead to discover this versatile Glug
Who modelled a rhyme while he mended a mug.

With a pursing of lips and a shaking of heads,
They gave up the task and went home to their beds,
Where each lay awake while he tortured his brain
For a key to the riddle, but ever in vain . . .
Then, lo, at the Mayor's front door in the morn
A tinker called out, and a Movement was born.

'Kettles and pans!  Kettles and pans!
Oh, the stars are the god; but the earth, it is man's.
But a fool is the man who has wants without end,
While the tinker's content with a kettle to mend.
For a tinker owns naught but the earth, which is man's.
Then, bring out your kettles!  Ho, kettles and pans!'

From the mayoral bed with unmayoral cries
The magistrate sprang ere he'd opened his eyes.
'Hold him!' he yelled, as he bounced on the floor.
'Oh, who is this tinker that rhymes at my door?
Go get me the name and the title of him 1'
They answered.  'Be calm, sir.  'Tis no one but Sym.

'Tis Sym, the mad tinker, the son of old Joi,
Who ran from his home when a bit of a boy.
He went for a tramp, tho' 'tis common belief,
When folk were not looking he went for a thief;
Then went for a tinker, and rhymes as he goes.
Some say he's crazy, but nobody knows.'

'Twas thus it began, the exalting of Sym,
And the mad Gluggish struggle that raged around him.
For the good Mayor seized him, and clothed him in silk,
And fed him on pumpkins and pasteurised milk,
And praised him in public, and coupled his name
With Gosh's vague prophet of archival fame.

The Press interviewed him a great many times,
And printed his portrait, and published his rhymes;
Till the King and Sir Stodge and the Swanks grew afraid
Of his fame 'mid the Glugs and the trouble it made.
For, wherever Sym went in the city of Gosh,
There were cheers for the tinker, and hoots for King Splosh.

His goings and comings were watched for and cheered;
And a crowd quickly gathered where'er he appeared.
All the folk flocked around him and shouted his praise;
For the Glugs followed fashion, and Sym was a craze.
They sued him for words, which they greeted with cheers,
For the way with a Glug is to tickle his ears.

'0, speak to us, Tinker!  Your wisdom we crave!'
They'd cry when they saw him; then Sym would look grave,
And remark, with an air, ''Tis a very fine day.'
'Now ain't he a marvel?' they'd shout.  'Hip, Hooray!'
'To live,' would Sym answer, 'To live is to feel!'
'And ain't he a poet?' a fat G
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:18 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme aabbcc ddeeff ggddhh bi jjkkxh llhhmm ggnnoo llPphx Ppqqrr iissii ttuuvv xxwwdd vvxxyy zzffjj 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 xk
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 4,340
Words 858
Stanzas 16
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 2, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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