Rizpah Rood and Tun


The Queen was kissed whilst playing whist!
It was a situation!
The kingly Crump with fist did thump
His head in consternation.

The Duchess looked like a fish just hooked
From out the blue, blue sea;
But Rizpah Rood just sat like wood,
And none so calm as he.

It happened thus: amid the fuss
Occasioned by a trump
The king had played, so that ‘twas laid
Unto the score of Crump.

In the next trick ‘twas found out quick
That Crump could follow suit,
And played an ace with beaming face –
But the Queen bore off the fruit

With another trump, whereat old Crump
Did loudly bawl and bellow;
‘Twas then that Riz rose up to kiss
The Queen, the cunning fellow.

For who could hold him overbold?
He’d say ‘twas in abandon
Of rapture sheer. It was quite clear
He’d still a leg to stand on.

And he had won a bet with Tun
The Wondof Hercules,
Who said, “I bet you’ll never get
“To kiss the Queen with ease!”

“Oho!” laughed Riz, “and what is this
“Unto a chap like me;
“’Neath potent spell you cannot tell
“How amorous she may be!”

“Aha!” said thick-set Tun quite quick,
“That I will not allow,
“Do you your harm without a charm,
“Or failure you’ll avow!”

“All right!” said Rood, “suppose I should
“Contrive to kiss the Queen,
“What do I get?” “Well, I will bet
“My head against your bean.”

“I see” said Rood, “Well, very good,
“If in this think I fail,
“Off comes my head; if I succeed
“Your body I’ll curtail.”

“Those are the terms, the very germs
“Of what I have in mind.”
Said lusty Tun. “It’s just for fun,
“In which we are behind.

“I’ve had no fun for ages run,
“Neither have you I think?”
“No!” said the other. “Nor any bother.
“This very place doth stink

“With feebleness and nought to bless
“Us with a bit of mirth!
“Why as to that, my hat,
“The lousiest place on earth.!

And Tun replied, “Ah, you have spied
“The very same as I;
“This is the plan I thought to scan –
“At least we can but try.

“If you are killed, your power be stilled,
“Into the market place
“I’ll carry you, and quick and true
“I’ll forge your head and face

“Upon your stump as shall please Crump
“And you he’ll reinstate
“Then hail me as a man of class,
“Give me a place of state.

“if my head goes and like a plucked rose
“Lies redly on the ground,
“You’ll chant a spell to make me well
“With people gathered round

“And they will noise around the boys
“That you are very clever,
“You’ll go in red, Magician Head,
“And liver in power forever.

“And this will poke a lively joke
“And make the people merry,
“Is ‘t not a plan of worth, O man?”
And Rizpah answered, “Very!”

Thus, thus you see the devilry
Afoot on this occasion,
When Queen was kissed when playing whist –
Oh, ‘twas a sore abrasion

For old King Crump, who still did thump
His head in wrath and panic;
At last the Queen said, “How obscene
“Doth act thie Magian – Hic!”

She was not drunk, the ‘hic’ just slunk
Out as a ‘hic’ will do
When feeling fine with rich red wine –
She’d only twenty-two!

And they were small, not much at all;
The Duchess – she had more!
And still sat there upon her chair
Which stood upon the floor.

To the Queen’s head the wine it sped,
She jumped up in a frenzy,
With blushes red – “Off with his head!”
She called to Captain Menzy.

“Two in an hour!” spat Captain sour.
“Why, business is quite frisky.”
“Two?” queried Crump, his head a lump
With thumping and with whisky.

“Well, Tun, you see, Your Majesty,”
The Executor sighed,
“Stood in your way, did beg and pray.
“You could not get inside

“The Palace Grounds till you said ‘Zounds,
“’The fellow’s drunk, I see!
“His head’s no use, so cut it loose,
“’I’m going on the spree!!’

“That was an hour ago, no more,
“My lord, do you remember?”
“Ah, yes, I do. I swear to you
“I thought it was December.

“I think I’ll throttle the whisky bottle,
“It’ll be the ruin of me,
“My head is thick, it’s going quick,
“My poor poor memory!”

Now through this tale poor Riz grew pale
And thought to make escape
By changing self into an elf
Or any other shape.

But could not think (he, too with drink
Had sotted recollection)
A single spell, not one could tell
From all his great collection.

So out he went with body bent,
His shoulder all a-quiver;
Behind him came the Captain’s frame,
Which made him all a-shiver.

Up to the block with thoughts amok
Was led, a cringing captive;
The scene prepared, his neck was bared,
And things were getting active.

“O Hercules!” he cried. “I’ll tease
“You in the world below;
“I will –“ but there was stopped his prayer
By well-directed blow.

17. 3. 29.