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Bardic Arts

Damn Baron, You're a Lucky Dog
by
Gerhardt von Nordflammen

Damn Baron, you’re a lucky dog,
You’ve got me to sing your praises.
You might have got some bleeding frog
Croaking lame and hackneyed phrases.
Or some sallow and shallow wop,
With a voice like rancid honey.
Who’d steal good vers and make it flop.
But Baron, rejoice, you’ve got me.

I’ve spread your fame throughout the land,
In no town south of the Loire
Is there a sot who wouldn’t stand
And swear you were Christ’s exemplar.
For Baron, when you give me cash,
I run and spend it straightaway ...
Make the red wine flow, slosh and splash ...
Drunks hear your name and shout, “hooray!!”

And sweet my lord, do you recall
That fine armor you gave me?
It would’ve stopped a tailor’s awl ...
On a good day. Then that palfrey
You gave me for a mount. The sight
Made all your foes fill their armor
To the faceplate ... they feared the might
Of one so lavish with a singer.

Then there’s the clothes, what finery!
By God, I looked like a magpie!
The ladies threw such looks at me,
Lord I thought I’d curl up and die,
But I’d the power of my vers,
That brings forth harmony from strife.
My wit my fortune did reverse,
By God, Lord, you’ve a pleasing wife!

Your lady’s generosity,
Well, it made my service worthwhile.
T’was priceless, what she gave to me.
Her joy, sweet body and her smile.
All with good heart and good will.
She didn’t crab and pinch the dole.
You never knew, you had your thrill:
A stableboy up the blowhole!

My lord, I leave you, no regrets.
I’ll take your candlesticks along.
They shall remind your ex-poet
Of your qualities ... here’s his song:
“Gilt outside, lead at the core,
“Greedy, stupid, corrupt, unfit,
“As noble is to you, you bore,
“Angelic is to maggot shit.”

Lord Baron, Guiraut takes his leave
And though I’d steal all but your bones,
I’d be cheated ... the vers I weave’s
Worth twice as much as all you own.


In the Vanto style -- "A comic song boasting of the singer’s talents, attainments and status in grossly exaggerated terms." -- GvN
Guiraut is Gerhardt's "alter-ego", this is from a series of poems Gerhardt published in his second folio.
© 1984, Lawrence Hyink III


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