To fill the empty pages of his life,
The English poet’s favorite verse is blank.
Facetious men with fallacious philosophy,
Fashioned fictitiously with fleeting flecks of fallacy,
(Having finished from their fill of bottled ferment)
Went, fully bent on the firmament,
To flippantly fill their mental facets
With frivolous fineries from far. And at the tacet,
They plied their music farther, and forte phrased it:
“What was it that that fickle father has writ?
That man whose wit were twice as great as those of they
Who claim the greatest part of man today?
Said he ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’?
Or does my drunken mind cause me to err?
Indeed I think ’twere truly written just so,
And so it was ev’n if ’twere not, I know,
For my reality is relative,
To me, my thought and truth correlative.
If I am drunk on wine and think me sober,
A prudent man may perpetually pester me as a prober
Into the amber contents of my intoxicating drink,
‘What’s this?’ he asks ‘that masks your mind in manic—
This malice makes my tempered reason panic—
What causes you to inebriated think
That night is day and day is night, and light
Is dark, dark light? ‘Tis not right.
To what end do you let your wisdom end?’
But he is wrong to think me wrong, ‘My friend,’
I say, ‘the drunkenness that you perceive inside me
Is but a coloured tint of your sobriety;
You’ve drunk too much the air, who fills the mind
With sense and reason to the times behind.
Most truly are you drunk and I am dry,
Although but my drink may be less dry than thine,
For not a man is there who roams the earth
And drinks not of something, whether plainly or in mirth.
In earthly mirth do I make my mind to medal
And shall not care to take offence and meddle
In your affairs, your truths and doctrines prodigious;
You may have your hypocrisies religious.
Prodigious doctrines, religious hypocrites,
Their enough to give the fondest follower antic fits!
Away with you! Go your ways! But I
Will find a fouler function for my inner eye.’
And so would I repel him, with drunken errored verse,
Neither drunk nor errored, for his ways are worse,
Though there’s not such a thing, than mine. But i’ th’ sanity of madness
Let me go, and retire to relative bliss.”
And so he faltered off to fill his mind
With foolish fortunes—that man of mankind.
I too, a poetic stander by, cannot
Help but sympathise with the dry man’s lot,
The one who felt the man who spoke to himself
Was not true. Though foolish folly is wealth
On this repugnant earth, I think the worldly
Is wrong about reality. Surely,
If man calls fair the evil thing that’s foul,
Then in his tongue I must say ‘fair’ is foul.
And if he calls by ‘Foul’ the Beauty fair,
I also lie and use his language there.
A just life is a dance ‘top burning coals,
A careful weaving through the mortal holes;
We learn to play the game ‘gainst fools, and sing
The song that best might quickly freedom bring.
But quietly and carefully, my reader,
Avoid the drink but use the words in meter
With the twisted world. You too will indeed seem drunk;
Your sober secrets private as a monk,
But come, brave soul, and in this find consolation:
The drunken man’s wanting consummation
Will never bring a fruitful final day—
Unless you might use a different backward phrase—
But words won’t last, and so that language is lost
Is not a matter to we who know the cost
Of ill and worth of True Benevolence,
So yet we look on Right with reverence.
But woe to you who head this quiet verse,
For on this earth your mortal life is worse
(There being such a thing, the drunkard … right)
Than that of him who carless mocks the song.