Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

Bardic Arts

Frederick of Holland

A Fool Not Seeking Employ

I am a fool, a gleeman.
I am a fun, a jester.
Iíll twit a lord about his leman,
Or a maid about her chest, sir.
But a Royal Fool must entertain
Both his liege and all the court.
I could not be a Royal Fool
Iím just not of that sort.

I have a cap with bells on.
And a bladder on a stick.
I can startle you with yelliní.
Iíve a joke to make you sick.
But a Royal Fool must satisfy
His King, and Lords and Dukes.
I could not be a Royal Fool,
The thought just makes me sick.

Oh, I know how to flatter,
How to flay a man with scorn.
Use a radish, make you fatter,
A beet will make you play the horn.
But a Royal Fool must play all those
Who see power as a prize.
I could not be a Royal Fool,
For I am not so wise.

The Court Jester

Of old, and aye of late, A King maintains
Within his court a Fool, a gleeman gay,
Who like with dance or jest lights up the day,
Or else with mordant wit of fault complains.
To be a Fool, a Fool must foolish seem,
Must prance an roll, only his bells to ring,
A radish chase, or ride upon his thing,
His bauble. Yet his smile holds subtle gleam.
The Fool will bide a long time with his Lord,
Be seen by all, regarded yet by none,
Hear all thatís said, by night or in the sun,
And then let fall a perfect jest or word.
That King seems wise whose Fool confounds his foes.
The Fool is wise who tells not all he knows.

© 2003 Frederick J. Hollander.
These were performed at Beltane, A.S. XXXVIII (2003), for the Bard of the West competition, they were written on site for the "Court Jester" theme.

[Bardic Arts Page]     [Main Web Page for the History]     [Who's Who]

The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).