’Twas thus it began, the exalting of Sym,
And the mad Gluggish struggle that raged around him.
For the good Mayor seized him, and clothed him in silk,
And fed him on pumpkins and pasteurised milk,
And praised him in public, and coupled his name
With Gosh’s vague prophet of archival fame.
The Press interviewed him a great many times,
And printed his portrait, and published his rhymes;
Till the King and Sir Stodge and the Swanks grew afraid
Of his fame ’mid the Glugs and the trouble it made.
For, wherever Sym went in the city of Gosh,
There were cheers for the tinker, and hoots for King Splosh.
His goings and comings were watched for and cheered;
And a crowd quickly gathered where’er he appeared.
All the folk flocked around him and shouted his praise;
For the Glugs followed fashion, and Sym was a craze.
They sued him for words, which they greeted with cheers,
For the way with a Glug is to tickle his ears.
“0, speak to us, Tinker! Your wisdom we
They’d cry when they saw him; then Sym would look grave,
And remark, with an air, “’Tis a very fine day.”
“Now ain’t he a marvel?” they’d shout. “Hip, Hooray!”
“To live,” would Sym answer, “To live is to feel!”
“And ain’t he a poet?” a fat Glug would squeal.
Sym had a quaint fancy in phrase and in text;
When he’d fed them with one they would howl for the next.
Thus he’d cry, “Love is love 1” and the welkin they’d lift
With their shouts of surprise at his wonderful gift.
He would say “After life, then a Glug must meet death!”
And they’d clamour for more ere he took the next breath.
But Sym grew aweary of this sort of praise,
And he longed to be back with his out-o’-door days,
With his feet in the grass and his back to a tree,
Rhyming and tinkering, fameless and free.
He said so one day to the Mayor of Quog,
And declared he’d as lief live the life of a dog.
But the Mayor was vexed; for the Movement had grown,
And his dreams had of late soared as high as a throne.
“Have a care! What is written is written,” said he.
“And the dullest Glug knows what is written must be.
’Tis the prophet of Gosh who has prophesied it;
And ’tis thus that ’tis written by him who so writ:
“’Lo, the Tinker of Gosh he shall make
him three rhymes:
One on the errors and aims of his times,
One on the symptoms of sin that he sees,
And the third and the last on whatever he please.
And when the Glugs hear them and mark what they mean
The land shall be purged and the nation made clean."’
So Sym gave a promise to write then and there
Three rhymes to be read in the Great Market Square
To all Glugs assembled on Saturday week.
“And then,” said the Mayor, “if still you must seek
To return to your tramping, well, just have your fling;
But I’ll make you a marquis, or any old thing . . .”
Said Sym, “I shall tinker, and still be a king.”