Resting once upon a hill,
Feeling Winter’s bitter chill,
I spied a person far beyond
With tunic black and hair of blonde.
His shape was lean and thin as well,
As though the breeze could break the shell,
His bouncy step was something droll
As he approached in a comic stroll.
His eyes, I saw, when he was near,
Were darting with a focus clear,
They copied clouds in mirrors green,
A wine-dark olive stare, obscene.
His wisdom was apparent then,
And his shrill voice could command men,
He introduced himself to me,
All spoken with a dulcet glee.
“My friend, ” he said as he came near,
“You seem a gentleman or seer.
Will you gather where you’re sat
And hear of the King’s Acrobat? ”
I felt a strange compulsion there,
And said “you have my witness bare, ”
And so he spun his age-old tale,
And took me on a journey’s trail.
“There once was true, a fat, old king,
In a land where flutes do sing.
He loved his wine and music fast,
And also of his great repast.
He demanded a new fool to dance,
And scouring the land, by chance,
He found himself a lonely act,
Which made his others promptly sacked.
This new and brave fool pranced in line,
And saw the King so loved his wine,
That when, from this, he fell asleep,
He stole his money, wife and reap.
Awaking slow, the morning next,
The King had seen his county hexed.
He sent out call for man and son,
To find the rogue before he’s done.
His description was so dire,
‘He’s likely headed for the mire!
He wears a uniform so strange
Which chimes in step with my pilfered change! ’
But the crook was never caught,
It was said, a passage bought,
From the coast to far-off France,
To so avoid the noose and lance.”
Suddenly I became transfixed,
And with my awe my words were mixed,
I asked of him what happened then,
He said they searched each fount and glen.
I wondered at his great evade,
So long we spent, until he bade
To me his fond and fanciful wave,
I watched him go, he’d “time to save.”
He disappearèd from my view,
Upon his oddly vibrant shoe,
Wearing a uniform so strange,
Which chimes in step with pilfered change.