Wednesday, April 27, 2016


In the great survey of medieval England
Called the Domesday Book
There is only one female jester.
Her name was Adelina. How hard
To be the only joculatrix in the country!
I see her running at a steady trot
Along the roads, where there were roads,
Somersaulting over hedges, sleeping rough
And not often. As she ran, she'd tell jokes
Or shout out riddles to ploughmen
Breaking the soil with dibble sticks
For spring planting. At harvest,
She'd tell them the answers.
When Death found her at last --
(And a hard time he had searching for her;
Small and fast and wearing motley so faded
You might take her for a shadow)
She was juggling apricocks while telling
A long story about a farmwife, three monks
And a talking duck. Death let her finish,
Let her catch the last apricock in her cap.
Did he laugh? Well, he should have.

No comments:

Post a Comment