Tuneable Tweak

by John Whitworth

This is the Davidian, a verse form invented by Wendy Webb of Norfolk. The Elizabethan cant is for the most part from Thomas Middleton. I found it in Robert Graves’s essay ‘Lars Porsena, or The Future of Swearing’.

Tuneable Tweak, Melodious Minotaur,
Sweet-breasted Bronstrops to the great O’Toole,
May forty barbers’ basins sound before
Instead of trumpets, sleek siphonophore,
Dainty, nectareous toadstool.

Mouth we in majuscule thy syllabub
Of syllable, Harmonious Hippocrene,
Thou Bantling Bawdstrutt of Beelzebub,
Thou Prestidigitant, thou Rub-a-dub,
Thou Scapegrace Forkytaileen.

In one week mayst thou have thy two ruffs torn,
May whifflant pissers reek upon thy tomb,
May sidling spiders weave their cobweb-lawn
Only for thee, Squab-stinkard, Beggar-born
Behemoth of the bedroom.

Thou Fucus, thou Finagling Finger-flay,
Thou rusty piece of Martlemas Bacon,
Ere thy poor pudding drop in pieces, may
Thy roarers suck thee dry and nowise pay.
Till thy bruised bubbs be shaken,

And the dumb dead awaken.

Previously published in Snakeskin http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~simmers/
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