Tuesday, May 17, 2016


When Max the Emperor died his body
Was stowed in a temporary grave
Until, a hundred years later,
The Empire could afford a monument.
Modern research has shown, though,
That the body re-interred with due pomposity
Was not Max's but belonged to a Croatian gypsy
Whose soul gave the canons of the cathedral
Terrible dreams in which he demanded to be freed
Of the load of ill-carved stone on top of him.
Also, he pleaded, he did not much care
For the company of the royal corpses
Buried nearby. Rereburial was unthinkable
But the cathedral officials did their best,
Pulling strings to have Janos the Fiddler
Awarded three medals for services to the state
And posthumously raised to the lower nobility.

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