THE HIPPOGRIFF AND THE POET
BY ANNE SYDENHAM
A mystic and maudlin poet
Sat and sang by the sea,
Disturbing the air the air around him
With a cheerful melody.
High above the albatross groaned
His head tucked under his wing,
But all that maudlin poet did
Was throw back his head and sing.
And everytime the albatross
Gave vent to his grief so sore,
The maudlin poet gave a shout
And proceeded to sing some more.
There came upon this unhappy scene
A hippogriff scaled in pearls
His wings did shimmer like a peacock’s tail
His tail was plaited and curled.
And in his eyes so star-lit blue
A dreadful light did glow
In anger against this cruel young man
Who, feelings, did not know.
The poet glanced up
He gave a cry
He sprang to his feet in shame
For at last he felt inside his heart
Something he could not name.
It thundered in his soul it did
It raged around his brain
It shivered through his fingertips
It sang a sad refrain.
And from his lips there came at last
A sob, and then a moan
A tear fell down his ashen cheek
He gave a dreadful groan.
They bound the wounds of the albatross
The hippogriff and he,
They combed his feathers, they staightened his coat
From his agony set him free.
And all the while, with the eyes of a child
Who knows he has done wrong,
The poet humbly minded the words
Of the hippogriff noble and strong.
I’ll never more, he solemnly swore, sing a happy refrain.
Oh no, said the hippogriff, don’t say that, I like to hear you sing.
Sing day or night, that’s alright,
But pain’s another thing.
‘Tis sweet to be alive and free
Unchained from all life’s woes
But care for others too, my friend
And you will have no foes.
The hippogriff raised his wings
They glittered in the sun
He bowed his noble head awhile
Then into the sky he sprung
The poet watched him disappear
Into a distant star
A bright, intangible, magic thing
Gleaming from afar.
Well, said the poet, as night drew on,
I must be on my way.
He bowed to the albatross, tipped his hat
I’m glad, was all he could say.
His face transformed with emotion,
Up the jagged cliffs he ran.
There, said the albatross, to coin a phrase,
Goes a sadder, but wiser man.