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POETRY
The Ballad of Everett the Saxon
Translated from the Old English

by Jon Deer
April 23, 2001

The Ballad of Everett the Saxon_Jon Deer-Translated from the Old English -----------
Forward
by the Webmaster

Be warned: The following poem is a curious tale, the point of which is not easily, and perhaps not necessarily, grasped. I have serious doubts as to the authenticity of its Old English origins, and Jon Deer's translation skills of such documents have not been proven, at least to this publisher. However, since the poem was mentioned in this Monday's Dear Jon Letters, I felt an obligation to let our readers see it for themselves. Please, don't shoot the messenger.

The Webmaster



The Ballad of Everett the Saxon


Now tell the story of a chief
courageous in the land,
who ruled his bands of raving Swedes
with firm and iron hand.

Now Everett, no Swede was he,
but born of Saxon blood.
How came he by to be a chief,
within the Swedish ‘hood?

'Twas not by might, and not by pow’r,
that Ev’rett rose above.
'Twas magic in a hammer’s head,
that fit him hand-in-glove.

The magic lay in Robert’s Runes,
encrypted in the mallet.
The wizard Robert and his Runes
did take a lot of talent.

And Everett was one of them
who could the hammer wield;
the row raised by the Saxon Chief
made any Viking yield.

"I think you miss the point," quoth he,
"of where this process lies."
The Swedes, astonished and made mute,
could only roll their eyes.

A bleak forboding enemy
then faced the Swedish horde;
its feet ran swift to take short-cuts,
its voice sowed grave discord.

This enemy no body had,
and no corporeal form.
No one could see this Fiend at work
to change proced’ral norms.

It used the tongues of tired Swedes
made antsy by the clock:
"Let’s bring the issue to a vote,
and skip the silly talk!"

But Everett would not relent;
it wasn’t in the runes.
And when the issues were discussed
the Swedes would change their tunes.

And so the Fiend another tack
would try, to drive the wedge,
between the peoples and the chiefs
of the Swedish Pledge.

"Why should we vote at all?" would say
exhausted Swedish crews.
"Let’s keep this 'confidential,' and
move forward with OUR views."

But Everett would hear these words
that carried on the wind,
and he, the runes writ on his heart,
would battle with the Fiend.

The Fiend would duck, the Fiend would bite,
the Fiend would stab his back.
But Ev’rett’s gavel banged and bashed,
to crush the Fiend’s attack.

Epic some battles, some were small,
and some the Fiend would carry,
but when, on short-cuts, Swedes got lost,
would Ev’rett never tarry:

But to the rescue he would come,
with hammer and with prayer,
"I hope we’ve learned from this," he’d say,
"And now take greater care."

With hammer blow, and rune’s retort,
the Swedes saw Ev’rett’s might,
and grudgingly they came to know
that he was us’lly right.

Now Everett grew long in years,
and in the Norse woods wandered;
he let his gavel gather dust,
the runes were scarcely pondered.

"I’m now too old to fight the Fiend,"
he said once, to his son.
"So here’s the gavel, here’s the runes.
I know you’ll get it done."

Now Jon, the Saxon’s boy, had not
really paid attention.
And so he balked when Fiends appeared
at his crew’s convention.

With short-cuts, secrets, and new rules,
it didn’t seem the same.
And when the crew was lost at sea,
could anyone be blamed?

Now such defeat does not bode well
for Jon at Annual Meetings,
when Chiefs from crews across the land
all meet for jousts and feasting.

"The hammer does not work for me,
the mallet lost its magic.
I wish Dad would come from the cold;
his absence is quite tragic.

"I have no time to study runes
or heft this mighty mallet.
This legacy is lost on me,
I just don’t have the talent."

Oh Everett, Oh Everett,
out in the woods and snow.
Dust off the runes and teach me, Dad,
of Robert’s magic lore.

Oh Everett, Oh Everett,
it is your son who pleads;
you will not hear such grovelling
from cool, well-mannered Swedes.

Oh Everett, Oh Everett,
since you can show us how,
Pick up the gavel once more, Dad.
The Vikings need you now.


"Jon Deer"
April, 2001


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