Sing, the sovereign said, of noble deeds by knight and squire
Of wise and prudent edicts from counselors at court,
A pleasant tune to soothe me just before I retire.
Firmly grasping lute in hand, I offered this retort:
I shall sing of drunken knights who strike out in a rage
Of peasants suffering under the weight of yoke and scythe,
Sly and venal ministers bringing in a new age
Where they break the common man by taxes and the tithe.
I shall sing of the simple mortality of kings,
Pig-eyed priests concerned more with their bottles than their God,
Of courtesans at court plied with furs, satins, and rings,
Of how we live as equals six feet under the sod.
(I’d never have seen morning had he not liked the parts
With slutty queens and horses and foul parish priest’s farts.)