nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,

POETRY MONTH: The Aristocrat

azdak’s posting of Chesterton’s Antichrist, Or The Reunion Of Christendom: An Ode inspired me to think of Chesterton, and what with the present JKR court case, of Harry Potter, hence to this poem, the second stanza of which inspired a plot bunny about Lupin being invited by Narcissa to visit Malfoy Manor after Voldemort's first defeat. Alas, it had no actual plot, and I’m not that interested in Lupin, so its chances of ever being written are slim. But the poem still makes me think of the sudden thick gloom beneath National Trust roller blinds protecting the soft furnishings against the bright light outside, and Agatha Christie type characters sniffing heroin off a feather, and the Death Eaters, which fit in even better after Deathly Hallows, which I am just about to re-read. I don't think it's a brilliant poem, but it makes me think of stories.

The Aristocrat

The Devil is a gentleman, and asks you down to stay
At his little place at What’sitsname (it isn’t far away).
They say the sport is splendid; there is always something new,
And fairy scenes, and fearful feats that none but he can do;
He can shoot the feathered cherubs if they fly on the estate,
Or fish for Father Neptune with the mermaids for a bait;
He scaled amid the staggering stars that precipice, the sky,
And blew his trumpet above heaven, and got by mastery
The starry crown of God Himself, and shoved it on the shelf;
But the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn’t brag himself.

O blind your eyes and break your heart and hack your hand away,
And lose your love and shave your head; but do not go to stay
At the little place in What’sitsname where folks are rich and clever;
The golden and the goodly house, where things grow worse for ever;
There are things you need not know of, though you live and die in vain,
There are souls more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain;
There is a game of April Fool that’s played behind its door,
Where the fool remains for ever and the April comes no more,
Where the splendour of the daylight grows drearier than the dark,
And life droops like a vulture that once was such a lark:
And that is the Blue Devil that once was the Blue Bird;
For the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn’t keep his word.
Tags: poetry
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