David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

APED: "not quite a ballade for joseph merrick"

In a small theater on Whitechapel Road,
in the front of a warehouse that had been sublet,
in a mean little room that was darkened and cold,
For the price of a shilling -- "No, you won't regret.
Stand up!" called the barker. And that's how they met.
That day an unusual friendship began:
joined for all time, so none can forget
Sir Frederick Treves and the Elephant Man.

The hospital Elephant Man lived below;
the Princess of Wales called -- there's a vignette.
He received gifts unlike he'd ever known:
autographed photos, a dressing-room set
with a comb (of no use) and some fine cigarettes
that his lips couldn't hold -- but he felt like a man;
And therefore the two of them had no regrets,
Sir Frederick Treves and the Elephant Man.

Treves saved the king's life once -- oh, didn't you know?
He was revered and created a baronet.
The Elephant Man died, but Treves never slowed.
Oh, Treves wrote about him a few times, you bet.
In lectures he gave, in notes no one read,
in journals professionals only would scan,
and in his last memoir -- just twelve pages, yet!
Sir Frederick Treves and the Elephant Man.

Great reputations the world will forget;
remembrance does not run according to plan.
You might be remembered for friends that you've met,
like Frederick Treves, for the Elephant Man.




Original, unedited, version:

In a small theater on Whitechapel Road,
in the front of a warehouse that had been sublet,
in a mean little room that was darkened and cold,
For the price of a shilling -- "No, you won't regret.
Stand up!" called the barker. And that's how they met.
That day an unusual friendship began:
joined for all time, none can forget
Sir Frederick Treves and the Elephant Man.

The hospital Elephant Man lived below;
the Princess of Wales called -- imagine that vignette!
He received gifts unlike he'd ever known:
autographed photos, a dressing-room set
with a comb (of no use) and some fine cigarettes
that his lips couldn't hold -- but he felt like a man;
And therefore the two of them had no regrets,
Sir Frederick Treves and the Elephant Man.

Treves saved the king's life once -- oh, didn't you know?
He was revered and created a baronet.
The Elephant Man died, but Treves never slowed.
He wrote of poor Merrick a few times, you bet.
In lectures he gave, in notes no one read,
in journals professionals only would scan,
and in his last memoir -- just twelve pages, yet!
Sir Frederick Treves and the Elephant Man.

Great reputations the world will forget;
remembrance does not run according to plan.
So you might be remembered for the friends that you've met,
like Sir Frederick Treves, for the Elephant Man.
Tags: a poem every day
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