Treasure Island

Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

Hats Felt


'Wolfe's mad as a hatter! ' said French to their King,
'He should bite my commanders' the latter replied,
'For when victory smiles one says: 'Where is thy sting? '
to Death as its sickle appears by bedside.'

Felt hats from the Tyrol to far Timbuctoo
adorned with fine feather from cockatoo friend
somewhat t[a]inted and toxic rots hairs that fall through
harsh headaches ensue sending souls round the bend.

'If the hat fits then wear it' may seem motto profound
but beware there where dyed rhymes too closely to died,
for uneasy is head crowned by felt, heaven bound -
or hell as the case may be, toxins abound.

Though Mercury's drops felt by, through, fuzzy, felt
makes mind muzzy, ears buzzy, yet four poster bed
stayed surrounded by green drapes rayed sunbeams might melt:
thus green dye, st[r]eamed arsenic, poisoned mind, head.

This explains why green's held as both envy and threat
in artistic tradition especially in France,
so both strychnine and mercury, should they be met
must be put out of mind, never trust fickle chance.

For some lovers felt waiting too much of a weight,
where rich chubby hubby could lay down his arms,
early opted for action which led to style 'late'
and deceased he who ceased from all cause for alarms.

Thus browned off they would green who once green had appeared,
whose brown study turned muddy then grey day by day,
leaving lover, lithe lady, to lift long wait feared,
as late lord soon succumbed, rate their roll in the hay.

Thus the messenger gods signal sods may ensue
if you wear any nightcap unless it be white,
let 'gap toothed' [Chaucer, Bath’s wife] can continue
till these stanzas conclude with Good day or Good Night!

Submitted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

(24 July 2008 revised with verses 6 and 7 added 17 January 2009 minor revisions with verses 2 and 3 added 18 February 2014)

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