If Wicked Worm

Submitted by Caleb on Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:59

If wicked worm bore thee away
Unto his forlorn island lair,
I’d search the world until the day
My telescope should find thee there.

I’d sail out to that sulph’rous place
Borne on a merry-tempered breeze,
And while the dragon slept a space,
I’d steal my girl with thievish ease.

And if he rage on being reft
Of thee, the fairest maid who breathes,
And he repay my cunning theft,
Smashing our ship out on the seas,

I’d take my needle and my thread
And stitch the ship up plank by plank
And with my musket shoot him dead,
And sing a love song as he sank.

How, you ask, can I now prove
That all my boasting claims be true?
That I’d perform these feats of love
In counterfactuals, for you?

See how upon this stormy night
Up to the corner store I speed,
So thou mayst rest in warmth and light
Till I bring back the thing we need.

Look and see how now I toil,
Braving the kitchen fires for thee;
I put the kettle on to boil
And bring thee out a cup of tea!

Author's age when written


This is so sweet. It brings to mind the time my friend went out at 2am to buy cherry Coca-Cola and sour punch straws for his pregnant wife who was craving them so bad.

I love the message that we can serve gallantly even in doing the mundane.

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Caleb, this made me smile! I've got this big grin on my face now that I can't wipe off. I will have to echo Damaris here... it's so fine a way to express how gallant acts of chivalry and service can be performed for someone you love in simple, every day tasks. :)

Plus... I really like the imagery of fighting the wicked worm. And then from there I pictured you crossing Lombard at Peninsula Baptist at night in the winter to go to the "corner store".

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

I really like this! I love the way you wrote it, like an Olde English ballad or the like. The wording, rhythm, diction, form reminds me of Keats' La Belle Dame Sans Merci, a poem I enjoy mainly for the way it sounds. You're poem here has all the delightful "sound" of that one but a much happier, much more delightful, tale to tell. Thanks for sharing! :)

Hannah, I would definitely love to have the jacket of a book of my poetry say something about my verse having the delightful sound of Keats'. Your comment made me pick up my sister's book of Keats and I opened it to a letter in which he writes about his axioms of poetry.

"1st. I think poetry should surprise by a fine excess, and not by singularity; It should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.
2d. Its touches of beauty should never be half-way..."


They're not my axioms but they're inspiring. It's always fun to discuss those sort of things and bring great poets' opinions into the mix.

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

The rough idea of this poem came to me when, after watching an episode from a mini-series and musing on an inspiring heroic feat of love I had just seen in it, my reverie was broken by someone asking me "Caleb, could you bring me a cup of tea?" I don't want the poem to belittle heroic acts of love, but show quotidian acts of love as being cut from the same cloth.

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

I officially love this.

Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!