Thursday, October 13, 2005

Yes, Friends, It's the Romantic Poetry Corner



My son, on reading the bit of verse I posted yesterday, recalled that I had a bit of allegedly comic rhyming stuffed ignominiously into an upper dresser drawer, and suggested that I ought to find same, if possible, and post it. Sure enough, years later, I easily located said bit of drivel, along with two other poems I'd long forgotten. The first, entitled "A Hymn to Beauty," is reproduced below. (It is dated 1670, but surely this is an error; I simply wasn't active in the fine arts at that time.) The second, entitled "Tacky Teeth," is suitable for group chanting among the hopelessly inebriated, and will be reprinted at a future date. The third, entitled "Lust: A Cautionary Fable," delivers a strong moral message -- as relevant now as when it was written! -- but must nonetheless be rated "Parental Guidance Muscularly Encouraged," and thus cannot appear here until well past the family hour of the date of publication.


A Hymn to Beauty (1670)

I'll give an observation, and I'll swear to God it's true:
People look worse without clothes than one expects them to.
The seem'ly, sleek, and long-limbed, muscled to godlike tone,
Are pinkish bags of mottled skin stapled to the bone.
The graceful and the buxom, the clean and tanned and fleet
Have pale veined pimpled backsides, and corned misshapen feet.
Who bulges most about the spots that lovers crave to touch
Removes the bulges with the clothes, leaving none too much.
The skin that is like velvet about the face and hands
Below is rash'd and lumpen, and lined with purple bands.
Those who seem as marble, so poised and calm and cool,
Have greasy pores amongst the hairs that ooze a sweatsome drool.
And so from that Perfection for which Love's own soul cries,
Appropriate the clothing; 'tis there the beauty lies.