“Young man”, said he, “I cannot see
Any rhythm to your verse,
No sense of rhyme and out of time,
And your punctuation’s worse.
It seems to me you’re all at sea
In how you use your tenses;
I think it best you take a rest
From lyrical pretences.”
These words back then to a boy of ten
Came from his English master
Therein addressed his end-term test—
His report card read, ‘Disaster’.
The boy’s mistake—He tried to make
A skit about his teachers—
To poke some fun at everyone
He stressed familiar features.
In tones profound, while father frowned
The boy was sternly lectured—
How dare he speak with abject cheek
These notions he’d conjectured!
What gave him right to glibly write
Of lofty, learned leaders?—
Should not a child be occupied
With simple children’s readers?
That episode from years ago
Left the master’s recollections;
Now long retired he had acquired
Some ‘theatrical connections’—
Lo and behold! What should unfold
One night on stage before him?—
The skit he scathed was being played—
Sure upset his staid decorum!
He squirmed low though none could know
How humbling this occasion—
The worthless child he had reviled,
Accorded such ovation.
A sudden change! Skit’s rearranged—
The leading man feigns anger;
He leaves the stage in seeming rage—
The master senses danger—
“You know this skit! Because of it
I was humiliated—
Your words adverse worked in reverse—
Tonight I’m vindicated.”
This scene repaid the past tirade—
The master taught a lesson—
The added bit tagged to the skit
Was justice paid in person.
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