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Sir Beelzebub -- Edith Sitwell

Guest poem submitted by Mike Christie:
(Poem #849) Sir Beelzebub
 Beelzebub called for his syllabub in the hotel in Hell
    Where Proserpine first fell,
 Blue as the gendarmerie were the waves of the sea,
    (Rocking and shocking the barmaid).

 Nobody comes to give him his rum but the
 Rim of the sky hippopotamus-glum
 Enhances the chances to bless with a benison
 Alfred Lord Tennyson crossing the bar laid
 With cold vegetation from pale deputations
 Of temperance workers (all signed In Memoriam)
 Hoping with glory to trip up the Laureate's feet,
    (Moving in classical metres) ...

 Like Balaclava, the lava came down from the
 Roof, and the sea's blue wooden gendarmerie
 Took them in charge while Beelzebub roared for his rum.
    ... None of them come!
-- Edith Sitwell
Here's a poem I've been thinking about sending in for a while. And I was
shocked -- shocked! -- to discover the word hippopotamus in there. Actually
it would make a good segue away from hippopotami. I first read this in the
Collins Albatross Book of Verse, and loved it at age ten. I still like it
now: I love the metre, and the stuttering way it starts, like a car ignition
coughing and then roaring into life.


[thomas adds]

"It seems very pretty", she said when she had finished it, "but it's rather
hard to understand!"
        -- Alice, upon reading "Jabberwocky"

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