At The Table Of The Masters
I stood at the table of the masters,
I served them food and wine.
I felt it was the rarest privilege
to hear them talk and dine.
Hear how Edward Lear thought it awful queer
that he was there at all.
With Lewis Carroll, he laughed a barrel,
their chortling filled the hall.
“Now it was you who named the Jabberwock,
sent them to hunt the Snark,”
Edward said and Lewis said:” So I did.
And was’nt it a lark?
And what about your owl and pussy cat
and your dong with that nose?
You had them jigging jolly on the carpet,
and kept them on their toes.”
Homer and Milton seemed to get on well,
both glad to be not blind.
But they regretted they could not improve
the verse they left behind.
I heard Shakespeare say to Dylan Thomas
that there should be a rule
to prevent his plays being college taught
and essayed on in school.
Dylan Thomas said he hoped his verses
were belched by drunks in pubs,
murmured by lovers down moon lit lanes,
roared by old men in tubs.
“Am I really here?” said John Donne to John Keats,
who spoke of nightingales,
while Tennyson told them to mourn not much,
but to make verse of tales.
Wordsworth said to Coleridge it was not right,
was sure he got it wrong.
Coleridge huffed and said it was too late now,
and both broke into song.
Some poets remembered as Anonymous,
like he who wrote Tam Lin,
the Anglo-Saxon author of Beowulf,
spoke of webs words may spin.
Dante and Virgil spoke of higher verse,
up building, line by line,
while Chaucer said he wished his pilgrimage
had brought him better wine.
I blinked, which entailed my eyes to open,
and so I was awake.
Alas, of the table of the masters
there was not left a flake.