Guest poem submitted by Sean Dwyer, who writes the following prologue: I have a Don Maquis archy poem here that should be required reading. It's a revision of an Aesop fable, which runs thus: _The Lamb and the Wolf_ A Wolf pursued a Lamb, which fled for refuge to a certain Temple. The Wolf called out to him and said, "The Priest will slay you in sacrifice, if he should catch you." On which the Lamb replied, "It would be better for me to be sacrificed in the Temple than to be eaten by you." and I'll attach the poem here:
(Poem #1458) aesop revised by archy
a wolf met a spring lamb drinking at a stream and said to her you are the lamb that muddied this stream all last year so that i could not get a clean fresh drink i am resolved that this outrage shall not be enacted again this season i am going to kill you just a minute said the lamb i was not born last year so it could not have been i the wolf then pulled a number of other arguments as to why the lamb should die but in each case the lamb pretty innocent that she was easily proved herself guiltless well well said the wolf enough of that argument you are right and i am wrong but i am going to eat you anyhow because i am hungry stop exclamation point cried a human voice and a man came over the slope of the ravine vile lupine marauder you shall not kill that beautiful and innocent lamb for i shall save her exit the wolf left upper exit snarling poor little lamb continued our human hero sweet tender little thing it is well that i appeared just when i did it makes my blood boil to think of the fright to which you have been subjected in another moment i would have been too late come home with me and the lamb frolicked about her new found friend gambolling as to the sound of a wordsworthian tabor  and leaping for joy as if propelled by a stanza from william blake these vile and bloody wolves went on our hero in honest indignation they must be cleared out of the country the meads must be made safe for sheepocracy and so jollying her along with the usual human hokum  he led her to his home and the son of a gun did not even blush when they passed the mint bed gently he cut her throat all the while inveigling against the inhuman wolf and tenderly he cooked her and lovingly he sauced her and meltingly he ate her and piously he said a grace thanking his gods for their bountiful gifts to him and after dinner he sat with his pipe before the fire meditating on the brutality of wolves and the injustice of the universe which allows them to harry poor innocent lambs and wondering if he had not better write to the paper for as he said for god s sake can t something be done about it
 tabor: a small hand-held drum common in Elizabethan times  hokum: nonsense, meaningless drivel For archy, this is a LONG poem, he must have been feeling either extremely energetic, or found some great food. One of the pleasures of the poem is the narration which pops up here and there as stage directions or commentary. It is a hilarious upturning of myth and the what-if the fable implies. It's also decent blank verse [I think you mean 'free verse'; 'blank verse' is unrhymed iambic pentameter a la Shakespeare and co. - Martin] , and archy's work often reminds me of e. e. cummings, not for the obvious typographical reasons, but its terse simplicity. Sean Dwyer. [thomas adds] Here archy seems to be conflating several distinct fables, the one featured in Sean's prologue above, and one or both of the following: A Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf's right to eat him. He thus addressed him: "Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me." "Indeed," bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, "I was not then born." Then said the Wolf, "You feed in my pasture." "No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass." Again said the Wolf, "You drink of my well." "No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me." Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, "Well! I won't remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations." The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. Once upon a time a Wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside, when, looking up, what should he see but a Lamb just beginning to drink a little lower down. "There's my supper," thought he, "if only I can find some excuse to seize it." Then he called out to the Lamb, "How dare you muddle the water from which I am drinking?" "Nay, master, nay," said Lambikin; "if the water be muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me." "Well, then," said the Wolf, "why did you call me bad names this time last year?" "That cannot be," said the Lamb; "I am only six months old." "I don't care," snarled the Wolf; "if it was not you it was your father;" and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and ate her all up. But before she died she gasped out "Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- both from http://www.pacificnet.net/~johnr/aesop/ The "wordsworthian tabor" is probably this one: Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song, And while the young lambs bound As to the tabor's sound, -- William Wordsworth "Intimations of Immortality" full text at http://www.bartleby.com/106/287.html while the "stanza from william blake" is likely to be one of two from the poem "The Lamb", which I should have mentioned in yesterday's Minstrels links section: Poem #1405. Talking of yesterday's poem, thanks to Michael, Faith and Carolyn, all of whom wrote in with biographical information about John Dressel; said info can be found on the Minstrels website under Poem #1457. thomas.