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Childe Harold's Pilchardage

by Anthony "Polidori" Mellors

"Uh, thou! In Hell as smelt of heav'nly birth,
Mess! Turned or tumbled at thy Minister's will!
Sunk into a torpor here by dearth,
They dare not call me from my Rosicrucian hill!
Although I've meandered through Bangor and Rhyll;
Yea! Groaned at Dulwich by Dulwich' shrine,
Wither'd, courting Absinthe while day-trippers mill;
Nor, wandering by the gaseous Tyne
To grease so plain a place - this kitchen of stripped pine."

Whilome dwelling in a narrow house, a dank youth,
Who didn't like virtue all that much.
He sunk his days in dry Vermouth,
And vex'd the night with something Dutch.
Ah, me, he was a right naughty fellow,
Sore given to things not very nice;
Only one or two earthly goods are yellow,
Jaundiced lust and oriental women,
And flaunting wassailers when their apples are bad.

Childe Harold the youth was clept - but whence the name
And famous background? - I shall lie:
Suffice to say, perchance they were not tame,
And had been wearers of a Balliol tie.
One foolish git spoils the bunch,
When changing horses in midstream;
Too many cooks spoil one's brunch,
And spare the rod to spoil the Childe:
"The Gods give no immunity, we are their dream."

This sour childe lay in the noonday sun,
Disporting there like a Spanish Fly.
He did not contemplate his flesh undone,
Wean'd as he was on Mommy's all-American home-made apple pie.
But he continued thus the blissful roast
Until at last, he had to go inside to cool off;
He was really fed up with getting sated -
He was a bit pissed-off, something he really hated,
Which seemed to him more lone than Eremite's sad cell:
A concept arbitrary to his haunted mind, but it was better than being Byronically constipated.

He had been through the mill with slaves,
Eyeless as the lurid day was selly long;
Up to his ankles in Malmsey wine:
Strange fruit and two veg. in the back of the van.
To wake and feel the fell of day,
Walking together in the windless orchard.
"Come, madam, come, all rest my powers defy!"
Childe Harold laboured all in love, leaning backward with a lipless grin,
"Thou by the Indian Ganges shouldst mussels find, Lesbia,
"To warm the cockles of your steely heart;
"I by the river Ouse must complain:
"The T.V.'s bust and the men won't come to fix it."

"If I should commit, not fornication dear, but suicide,
"My Thames-blown body (Pliny vouches it)
"Would float face downward on the oily tide
"And drift with the other garbage till it putrified.
" Thus spake the Seraph, and forthwith
Appeared a mighty throng, through which the bad Childe maundered,
Departing from his father's hall
(Who was venerable and had piles),
Pausing merely to sigh and have his doublet laundered,
Scraping musty trifles from those sad aisles.

"Monastic brain, condemn'd to uses vile,
"Come hither to my lambent groves
"And sport in glee awhile!"
An American it was who spoke, the minstrel Hoey by name.
"Why," said the Childe, "I'll be right with thee
"'Ere the nacreous tide is swol'n with bad blood,
"Away to that roseate and splendid multitude that you speak of!"
(The Harvard Glee Club)
"St. Frideswide's, Cherwell Edge, has nothing new to shew me:
"I'll be with you, as with Beelzebub!"

Now, desperate for rhyme, his escritoire dishevelled,
The Childe bad farewell to Order's massy banks;
His sered hair askew, his looking-glass unbevelled,
His visage was aghast with the bleatings of cranks:
He saw Danny, trousers 'round his shanks
Next the Balliol wall, pissing, saying,
"We'll teach The Commie scum with our Byronic phalanx."
Yet the Childe was inspired by this peculiar speech
And soon found the "B.S." his most suitable niche.