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by Chris "Childe Harold" Oakley
A lofty hall with lattice-work of gold,
And arboreal vaults I did behold
That shone with soft blue light, and bathed the room
In a gentle glow which fill’d its volume.
A library vast of books I did see,
And parchments and scrolls in diversity.
’Ssembled on a dais were a noble throng
With serene mien that bespoke wisdom long
And in their midst, in glory most sublime
I saw the master of stagecraft and rhyme:
Aye, ’twas Bill, the Bard, their boss, beyond doubt
(Tho’ oft scarce know I what he’s on about)
Espying me, he quoth, ‘Good morrow, sir!
Welcome to the Hall of Literature!
Here is knowledge stor’d and lore in plenty —
Next this are your libraries but empty;
For all the arts of man are herein writ,
And every science, or study or crit.;
A wight might browse here an earth-lifetime quite
And ne’er for a moment be bored in slight.
But pray tell me, sirrah, who might it be,
Who comes to the celestial library? ’
‘Childe Harold, sir, is my Byronic name,’
Said I, proud to speak to he of such fame.
But Bill’s brow did furrow, his face turn’d grim —
A flush of anger did creep over him.
‘Of the Oxford Byron Society?
Who appal all scholars literary!
’Tis ill met, I deem — ’tis bad vibes, in sooth!
That we should e’er meet below the same roof!
’Tis dreadful indeed, and vexeth me sore!
No hideous fate could offend me more! ’
So saying, two verbal police he called,
Who grabbed mine arms and most uncouthly bawled
Appalling threats of tortures they apply
On those who offend the cognoscenti;
And ere long I was in a prison cell,
With racks and chains, and a horrible smell.
My hands were in cuffs, my feet in irons,
List’ning to men being fed to lions!
‘What did I so wrong to deserve this fate?’
Cried I in pain, all nettled and irate.
Then a man who had writ for ‘Mills and Boon’
Called from his rack, though stretched like a baboon:
‘Hah! That a Byronist should thus wonder!’
He quoth, though pain near ripp’d him asunder,
‘Is’t poesy? Is’t verse, such mindless dross,
That no pornographer e’er came across?
Henreyan drivel and Hoeyan pap!
Faith! No delinquent’s ear deserves such crap!
Tho’ Harington may be here excepted,
For mercy could never be expected:
Since by ‘Marion’ with amber-eyed ’droid
He shows his creativeness truly void.
Yet he tries to be nice; a concept odd
To the misanthropic (though truthful) Todd.
But the offender worst, by all account
Is Hoey, whose drivel comes in amount
So unrestrained as to make grown men weep,
Unless they get clever and go to sleep.
Yet were we to seek torment eternal:
Think on the verse of Henrey infernal
Whose wordy assaults of rancid rhyming
Are used by Satan for hell-fire priming;
Such scrawlings uncurtail’d by decency
Make a gruesome satanic litany.
The foul-mouthed Hector on the other hand,
Gave a riddle once to the Byron band:
’Twas good, ’pon my soul, ’twas as clear as mud:
(Would I were smart, like this rhyming stud).
And how might we speak of Klyve’s crass bawlings?
Hast thou seen less artful infant scrawlings?
No chance; for suave seems the unmanner’d brat
When stood next Klyve with his toilet-wall chat.
Which bids us look at Anthony Mellors:
Would his wordish gifts make Byron jealous?
Or does bog-brush hair mean bog-brush verse too?
Which scrapes the dimmest crannies of the loo
Of poesy; and gathers for its lore
Effluvia from those who have gone before.
And as for the rest: of Mad Jack’s pratings;
Dragowicz’s rhyme and Deane’s beratings;
Beppo’s fantastical, unseated song,
The Giaour (who sings of a magnetised schlong)
And Auchtermuchty’s Countess’s lines rude
All now publish’d and unseemly issued:
Be thou not surprised at thy gruesome fate:
Nay, reck merciful thy constrained state
Who disperse a terse curse, the hearse of verse:
For Asher alone writes poesy that’s worse! ’
He grimaced and foamed — with pain driven mad;
‘Perhaps he thinks our poetry is bad,’
Consider’d I, although a sudden bolt
Of lightning gave us momently a jolt.
Then Kirn appear’d replete with mighty horn —
(The famous Yankee composer of porn).
With a dildo huge he bent to the ground —
As, doubled by its weight, he gazed around
For orifices of willing clients
For his ten-foot ivory appliance.
Then upon us fell a thick, viscous rain
And tormented creatures howled, all in vain;
Mine arms dissolved as if dipp’d in acid.
‘Forgive me, Bill, if my verse was flaccid!
Help! Help!’ cried I as my head did revolve,
‘This problem of style can surely be solved!’
As I cried for help, the curtains did play
In the soft, gentle early morning grey.
Lulubelle beside me placid did seem:
‘Help me! Help! — Ah — ’ thought I, ‘’twas but a dream!’