Poetry Page 6

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
William Shakespeare
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Piping Down The Valleys Wild

           by William Blake

Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant gleeOn a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me,
"Pipe a song about a lamb";
So I piped with merry cheer;
"Piper pipe that song again" -
So I piped, he wept to hear.
"Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of merry cheer"
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear.

"Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read" -
So he vanished from my sight.
And I plucked a hollow reed,
And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

and here is my parody of his poem:


                  by Jim Dunlap

Roistering through the city streets,
Whistling merrily along --
Tapping feet in measured beats
Accompanying my cheery song...

I saw a gaunt and homeless child
Begging in the streets for bread --
On each side, heedless strangers filed
With conscience slumbering, or fled.

"Please, sir, grant me a trifling boon,"
The starving gamin cried --
I said, "Go hear your mother croon;"
He said, "Oh no! She died."

I delved deep in my pocket,
Pulled out a knife and comb,
Some money and a silver locket...
Mementos of my own lost home.

I pried the faded picture from it,
Gave coins and locket to the boy --
My song resumed, I tried to hum it
As his pinched face lit up with joy.

Then, dancing gladly on my way,
I left him to the whims of fate --
I can't right all Earth's wrongs today.
Perhaps tomorrow. Sure, they'll wait.

* Re "Piping Down the Valleys Wild,"
with apologies to William Blake, published in