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Childe Danny's Pilgrimage (part two)

by Raymond "Beppo" Paretzky.
O, thou! Isis! O god, my long-lost muse!
To you I sing once more, I lift my pen,
These sixteen years neglected, please excuse,
At last the time has come to start again;
No inspiration have I had since then,
No topics worthy of your viscous pow’r,
No noble heroes, neither mice nor men,
’Til now, at last, at last has come the hour!
To sing of love, which lured Childe Dan from iv’ry tow’r.

In Trin’ty College long ago he dwelt,
Where year ’pon lonely year Childe Dan did fester;
His masters thesis perfectly was spelt,
Or so he’d claim when friends would start to pester.
Then suddenly ’twas gone, ta’en by some jester,
Or evil villain perhaps, whose crime spree
Left Dan with naught to show the heartless tester!
But valiant Danny said, “Don’t fret ’bout me,
I’ll stay here to neglect a doctorate degree!”

O, Oxon, how you suffered for so long,
Ancient halls wept and lofty towers cried,
As each night, “Bloody Balliol” went the song
Of Trin’ty newcomers from far and wide;
While through war, famine, drought, and homicide,
Beyond the College walls the world progressed.
But Danny never moved—his soul just sighed:
“How’ll I fulfill my lonely heart’s great quest
Unless I leave this place for good? I’m so depressed!”

To stay was agony, no one can doubt,
But leaving Oxon neither could he face;
Croquet, the Cherwell, poetry, the Trout—
Each day was splendid in that charm’ed place,
Whene’er he stirred, inertia won the race.
Until, one day, our Dan—no more a lad—
O’ercame his fears and left his ’customed space;
To London Town he went to work with dad,
In hopes that busy days would mask his heart so sad.

Were there some damsels? Yes, I can’t deny,
There were a few, perhaps, one here, one there:
A sultry Basque lass who was painf’lly shy,
A girl from Nice who cared for kids, au pair;
A lanky P’risian known for savoir faire,
And don’t forget the Yank threat’ning to sue.
Or so I’ve heard, for if I must be fair,
I can’t be sure if all these tales are true,
But there’s one thing I know, Childe Danny still was blue.

And then, one day, as Dan sat lost in thought,
He spied fair Karen, who flashed him a wink!
He gasped, he sighed—in love’s snare he was caught!
O how he wooed her then, with verse, with drink,
With compliments: “That’s such a lovely pink!”
His faults deterred her, though—his puns, his snores,
His idle ways, his hands all stained with ink;
At last, love’s labor’s won, she said, “I’m yours,
Our lives we’ll join, we’ll be together now, toujours!”

And so the years did pass, love’s course ran smooth,
Or rocky sometimes, let me not cast blame;
But Dan his Karen always he did soothe,
With sleight of hand, bad verse, or some such game
He’d redirect her mind from off his shame.
But was Byronic excess just a ploy,
Or should Don Juan have been Childe Dan’s real name?
Whate’er the past, he’ll now ne’er more be coy,
From this time onwards none but Karen he’ll annoy.

My festive song hath ceased, my tale is done;
Childe Danny's journey next is at a start;
To Switzerland they’ve moved in search of fun,
No more sweet sorrow, no more need to part.
So now that Cupid’s thrown his final dart,
And Dan at forty (on life’s downward side)
Is old in years but oh so young at heart,
And all their friends have come from far and wide,
Let’s toast Childe Dan and lovely Karen, his new bride!