Godfrey: Third Pale Knight (poem)
‘I don’t like to be a bore…’
That, she says, is the wrong way to begin a tale
You’ll have me fearing the worst
Not either in the proper sense
‘Well…because people have tended, quite literally, to wander off.’
You get invited to dinners, my dear, and you have no dinner conversation.
You plunge in with your Subject.
And, you know, rumour has got out. ‘Never in his presence
breathe the name of bloody St. Crispin’s.’
Have a glance at the sporting news, next time
Memorize one or two results
‘Noticed Madame’s Nightshirt came tenth’
Pigeons or horses, makes no odds
Answer every gambit, ‘Is that right?’
Roscoe, who has climbed down to participate
Is silenced nonetheless
In fact, Virginia says, no one in our circle has heard you tell it.
So what do they know? I shall be the first.
I pledge myself rooted to the spot.
Godfrey the Hermit…though probably he was not a hermit,
that was a bit of mediæval yarn-spinning, of which they did a
great deal, the early missionaries being wily in their way…
understood well that a mystique, a pretence the teachings
were not for everyone, a touch of the nobleman’s high-handedness
to which the peasantry were quite used—
Forgive me. Godfrey, I mean to say,
writing in his poor Latin, that he seemed partly
to have invented ad hoc
I’m not laughing
No…ahem…he had an excellent ear for gossip. His anecdotes,
always to encourage the belief in miracles, are difficult to place
(2017, Stephanie Foster)