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Bardic Arts

The Golden Stag

by
Owen ap Morgan
[Copyright © 2002 by Earl P. Jones. All rights reserved.]

Look yonder at that table if you’re feeling so inclined;
A more unsavory crew would be most difficult to find.
A few are masked in leather, and some others dressed in drag,
And lingering above them is a double-headed stag.
But if you have the wisdom and the fortitude to stay,
You’ll find there is no need to ask them if they’re in a play.

        Chorus:
        They are a troop of actors; your perception is astute,
        And that is a profession widely held in disrepute.
        But these are Pillars of the West, the kingdom’s shining hope!
        If you have any problem with that ...

They have a thousand faces to present before you here:
A captain, a magician, or a knight; perhaps a peer.
A serving wench might offer up a taste of eel pie,
But watch out if a vacuum cleaner salesman meets your eye.
They have more courage than the Cotswold Lion, so they say,
Yet you might see one Ralph if you bring up The English Play.

        They are a troop of actors (though the girls are fairly cute)
        And that is a profession widely held in disrepute.
        But these are Pillars of the West, the kingdom’s shining hope!
        If you have any problem with that ...

Yes, they are only actors; that can never be denied.
Still, as the gentle duchess said of them: “I laughed. I cried.”
Now if you shake your head and make a move to pass them by,
Then “Pedicentur quos non placet ludus” is their cry.
Far better you should settle down and let them have their way;
You, too, can be enchanted by the Golden Stag at play.

        They are a troop of actors, and the problem at the root
        Is that is a profession widely held in disrepute.
        But these are Pillars of the West, the kingdom’s shining hope!
        If you have any problem with that ... (spoken) cope!


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