The Spoonbill Generator

Merlin's Legendary Lost Oaths

"My daughter! My daughter!" the old wizard cried [TG]

"Has angered the gods we should not have defied." [P]

He rent at his garments until the sparks glowed [TG]

He rent at his garments until his skin showed [P]

He shrieked and he wailed and he croaked like a toad [TG]

And wished many times that he'd already died. [P]

"Your daughter was caught at a quarter to three" [TG]

She never appeared with my flagon of tea [Roland]

Your rent must be paid or I'll show you the door [TG]

That no-one must open 'til quarter to four [Roland]

And then you can visit your daughter NO MORE [TG]

Nor those she enraptures so amorously [Roland]

The wizard, though wizened, still wasn't afraid [TG]

Though he knew that a terrible price would be paid [P]

To quarantine those who, with bellicose voice [Roland]

Would quarter the globe and deprive it of choice [TG]

Obliging all judges to call themselves 'Joyce' [Roland]

And drown the convicted in warm lemonade [P]

The rector inspected the wizard's slight frame [TG]

And decided the wizard was just not the same [P]

He summoned the butler and ordered some tea [TG]

He summoned a pope from the holiest see [P]

He ordered twelve woodnymphs, in batches of three [TG]

To gather up kindling and set it aflame [P]

The brazier was blazing (I've said this before) [TG]

(and I'll tell you again, though I know it's a bore) [P]

It cast darting shadows all over the walls [TG]

The crackle of flame echoed loud through the halls [P]

The wizard emitted six brief caterwauls [TG]

When a thunderous knocking was heard at the door [P]

"Your holiness!" Slowly but wholly in awe [TG]

Of whatever it was that he thought that he saw [P]

The rector inclined to an angle acute [TG]

And adopted the pose clerics use in dispute [P]

(Explaining the curious cut of their suit) [TG]

As, slowly, he started to settle the score [Roland]

"That's four for the foreman, fourteen for the choir [TG]

And seventeen more for those souls who aspire [Roland]

To cleave to the path and to spurn the black arts [TG]

And hide all the horror that lives in their hearts [Roland]

Here's twenty for each of my favourite tarts [P]

That visit me nightly to quench my desire [Roland]

Despite all his fright he was quite self-possesed [TG]

And soon he'd departed for five hours' rest [Roland]

Forgetting the wizard, still chained to a chair [TG]

Awaiting his child in the heights of despair [Roland]

Completely ignoring the state of his hair [TG]

This was surely a terrible, terrible test [P]

"Oh Daughter!" His daughter appeared in the frame [TG]

And vainly endeavoured to clear her good name [Roland]

She claimed that the tea-bell had only half rung [TG]

And that at the hour when the Matins was sung [Roland]

But as she protested, the door was wide flung [TG]

A little too late for this stage of the game [Roland]

"Great Scott! Tell me, what is this clot doing here?" [TG]

What happened to Joseph of Arimathea? [Roland]

I shouldn't have trusted the Pope with the spell [TG]

I've told him twelve times he must not use the bell [P]

The book, or the candle; and howling of Hell [Roland]

Will greet him if he's spilled a drop of my beer [TG]

Contributors: TG, P, Roland.
Poem finished: 31st December 1999.