Laura Elizabeth Richards

(1850-1943 / the United States)

The Gargoyle And The Griffin Poem by Laura Elizabeth Richards


Once a Gargoyle and a Griffin
Thought they'd go and take their tiffin
With the eminent Confucius, just outside the temple wall;
So they started off together
In the charming Chinese weather,
But when they reached the spot, Confucius wasn't there at all.

He had gone to the Bazaar, sir,
With his little cup and sarcer,
For an emptiness was in him that he could not well abide;
And there he saw a Gorgon,
Who was playing on the organ,
A sight that's rare in China, and in other lands beside.

The Gargoyle and the Griffin
Gave a mournful, scornful sniff in
The direction of the temple, then they followed on his track;
For they said, 'There may be food there,
And the cigarettes are good there,
And if Confushy does not treat, we'll treat him - to a whack!'

So they toddled on together
In the charming Chinese weather,
Till they reached the great Bazaar where all the people used to go.
And they too saw the Gorgon,
Who was playing on the organ,
And they said, 'What may this creature be, we do not, do not know!'

Now Confucius was retiring
In his nature, and admiring,
He stood behind the Gorgon while he listened to her play;
But the other two stood staring
With their goggle-eyes a-glaring,
Till the Gorgon chanced to look at them; and then - alas, the day!

Said the Gargoyle to the Griffin,
'Sir, I feel a trifle stiff in
My joints, and I propose that we retire from this spot!'
Said the Griffin to the other,
'I would gladly go, my brother,
But a feeling's o'er me stealing that retire I - can - not!'

Not for long they made their moan there;
They were both turned into stone there,
And their stony, bony carcasses adorned the public way;
While the cheerful little Gorgon
Played away upon her organ,
And enjoyed herself immensely the remainder of the day.

But the Eminent Confucius
Cried aloud, 'My goodness grucious!
My neighbors are converted into granite in my sight.
Let me flee from this Bazaar, sir,
With my little cup and sarcer,
For really, for the moment, I have lost my appetite!'

Submitted: Friday, September 3, 2010

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