July 17th, 2011
|12:37 pm - Alternative Endings to an Unwritten Ballad|
My poetry group is doing an evening of 'funny poems' soon. I've been wondering what to read out, and I've got a few in mind.
The following poem was written by Paul Dehn, who was an English screenwriter. He wrote the screenplay for Murder on the Orient Express, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. And the guy he lived with wrote the scores to many of the big Hammer Horror films.
The poem is called 'Alternative Endings to an Unwritten Ballad'. It's popularly known as 'the Mrs Ravoon poem'.
Alternative Endings to an Unwritten Ballad
I stole through the dungeon whilst everyone slept
Till I came to the place where the Monster was kept.
There in the arms of a Giant Baboon,
Rigid and smiling, lay MRS RAVOON!
I climbed the clock tower in the first morning sun;
'Twas midday, at least, ere my journey was done.
But the clock never sounded the last stroke of noon,
For there, from the clapper, swung MRS RAVOON!
I stood by the waters so green and so thick,
And I stirred at the scum with my old, withered stick;
When there rose through the ooze, like a monstrous balloon,
The bloated cadaver of MRS RAVOON!
I pulled in my line and I took my first look
At the half-eaten horror that hung from my hook.
I had dragged from the depths of that limpid lagoon
The luminous body of MRS RAVOON!
I fled in the storm, 'midst the lightning and thunder,
When a terrible flash spit the darkness asunder.
Chewing a rat's tail and mumbling a rune,
Mad in the moat, squatted MRS RAVOON!
Facing the fens I looked back from the shore,
Where all had been empty a moment before;
And there, by the light of the Lincolnshire moon,
Immense on the marshes stood... MRS RAVOON!