12. At the Tavern, After the County Fair
The carriage of swords
according to codicil number two
“is to be condoned,
concomitant with character
the County Sheriff.”
He drones, he drones,
over the wounded’s cries and moans.
I’d fain be off and on my way
than hear what this fool will surely say.
“It is constitutional,
this carriage of swords!
Why just today, at the county fair
a renegade friar ran amok
killed seventeen women
what terrible luck!
That is so many
fewer to fuck.”
The jackanapes will not still his chatter,
choosing a quote to settle the matter.
‘One resolves the problem of a varlet with a sword
by the presence of a stout fellow with one of his own.’
- El Cid
(I sigh, this sophistry
has ever been belov’d
by the Rapier Society
of the Great Ungloved).
The Counts and Dukes of Washing Town,
argue this matter up and down,
concerning the carriage of a sword
they do not reach a healthy accord.
At the fair, of course, so many are sold,
you can buy a claymore for a little gold!
(Boys and oft girls
buy a poniard
or a dagger
though the law
says none below
a dozen years
may own one).
The tankards are raised
and I look away
I cannot say it,
“God Bless Vespuccia” is the drunken cry,
and I must mutter, “I’d rather die.”