The Craven

Once upon a State U. evening,

As I studied, eyelids heaving,

There came the sound of heavy breathing

Just outside my chamber door.


There came a laugh—O, tortured sound!—

And then a thump upon the ground;

I quickly peeked out, all around,

And spied a form sprawled ‘cross the floor.


“My God, what’s this?” I cried in shock.

But then my mind put up a block:

My world I would not let him rock,

And so I made to close the door.


But, as I went to shut the clasp,

He cleared his throat with a harsh rasp,

And, with what seemed his dying gasp,

Quoth the Craven, “What a bore!”


“What’s that you said?” with great surprise,

With opened mouth and widened eyes,

I quickly came to realize

He meant the School that I adore.


“You mean State U., you mangy cur?

How dare you cast out such a slur!”

He seemed to insults quite inured;

Again he quothed, “What a bore!”


“You study hard ‘til late at night,

You never dance, you never fight,

Into your life there falls no light—

You have your books, and nothing more.


“Your days are just a constant gruel.”

And then (becoming really cruel)

He sneered: “Make love to your slide rule!”

And as he spoke, I wept and swore.


“It’s true!” cried I, in sudden shame.

“And yet, I’m really not to blame.

And, tell the truth, weren’t you the same?”

He sighed and said, “You’ve hit the core.


“Yes, I was once the same as you.

State U., you beast!  I was so true.

But the work proved more than I could do:

The prof’s heels ground me to the floor.


“I committed the fatal sin

Of not being smart enough to win.

My G.P.A. has done me in;

This system now do I abhore.”


And, as he crawled away in pain,

His words rang in my ears again;

The harsh chords of a bitter refrain,

The Craven’s song: “O! what a bore.”


My peace of mind?  Gone with no trace.

I have no star; I have no brace.

Shall, once again, I love this place?

As quoth the Craven, “Nevermore!”



Incident on the Green

I was strolling on the Village Green one bright day,

When I met a little man who was standing in my way.

I requested that he move; he politely declined,

So I booted him squarely in his miniscule behind.


His temper went off just like a tiny powder keg,

And he jumped up quickly and kicked me in the leg.

He cursed and gestured wildly, and started throwing things,

Producing such a din that my head still rings.


With an over-ripe tomato in his strange, petite paws,

He presented such a sight that brought cheers and guffaws;

Applause rang out for this spunky little player

‘Til he landed his wild missile in the face of the mayor.


The mayor was perturbed, and with an angry bellow

He blindly took a swing at the artful little fellow;

But, not controlling where his righteous anger was spent,

The constable was the unfortunate recipient.


The constable could simply not condone this vicious act,

But he realized the situation called for some tact,

So he waded in swinging his now vaunted night-stick,

And a mason, wrongly struck, promptly hit him with a brick.


The nearby gendarmes, upon observing this attack,

Agreed that their profession must gain its honor back;

Faces filled with indignation, they soon joined the fray,

Which gave the watching crowd a chance to enter in the play.


With cries of outrage on each tongue, and murder in each heart,

The workers of the village rushed to take their brother’s part.

The melee kept expanding like a ripple on a lake,

Until I felt the very ground beneath us start to shake.


The debacle that occurred upon the innocent town clover

Went on, no doubt, but I confess that my account is over.

Such violence would not soon end, that certainly was clear,

So the little man and I linked arms, and went to have a beer.

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