An ode to facial Hair.
Poesus, mane namuse, pane poesus beardusis.
(Sing to me oh muses, sing to me of facial hair.)
Tennyson reared a mighty beard,
A beard of power, full and long,
A beard that warbled full-throated song
And a nation cheered
And in the palace, by all revered,
A fair young queen, eyes softly teared
Swooned into those pages seared
With depths of pain, till there appeared
Solace, deftly, engineered
By a beard to which all good adhered.
By which the darkest skies were cleared
By whose very light a people steered.
That beard; a mighty benison.
The beard, our beard of Tennyson
Other beards were grown, tis true
And from them flights of beauty flew.
From brave moustaches, sideburns too
For facial hair, as all men knew,
Bespoke the muses’ presence then,
Told that song was come to men,
But rare the beard whose note was pure
And rarer still that tone so sure
Whose very sound could rend the soul,
Whose cadence o’erfilled the bowl
Wherein was nothing to be feared
Within the music of the beard.
Though Browning’s beard in 61
Could revel in it’s strength.
His lack of music grew because
Of what it lacked in length.
The lack of breadth in Arnold’s verse,
The thinness of his gift,
Grew from the way that chin was cursed:
Twixt sideburns lay a rift.
And Swinburne, like his merry crew,
Stood beardless as a babe
No wonder then that mome raths
Seemed somehow to outgrabe.*
Nay, nay, the beard had fled these shores,
For here the muses shirked their chores,
Quite clearly it had paused in Russ
Where Tolstoy’s beard coniferous,
Sang briefly ere he lost the plot
Like Christ-crazed Fyodor’s idiot.
A while it mused in quiet Trier
To haunted Europe’s spectral fear.@
But then Atlantic’s mighty span,
Beseeched it be American .
And there a while it searched in vain,
By Walden pond it knew but pain,
Until at last in found new birth
In New York City’s throbbing girth.#
Whitman sang the beard electric
The democratic beard sans form,
A rambling, roaring beard of freedom;
Whiskered halloo of man’s reform.
A beard that strolled amidst the poor folk,
Bringing hope to one and all,
A beard aboard the Brooklyn ferry
Echoing this new world’s noble call
Yet men sneered
Even leered, some they jeered
At this beard
Come among them,
As if to wrong them.
Perhaps they feared,
Failed to grasp
That this fair nation,
Had given birth
To a beard so weird.
That its very self was provocation
And forthwith must needs be sheared.
And sheared it was, his tomes unsold
Bespoke the fate of beards so bold
And only when his sons grew old
Did sales increase three hundred fold
And men then praised this mighty-souled
Man; hailed him prophet .
And then the beards were lost to man
And verse’s darkest age began.
Undefended by the beard,
The manner grand came to be feared.
Ironic distance, scared to care
From men too weak for facial hair
Now laid that mighty world of verse
Inside a modernistic hearse.
But damn their hairless verses weird,
Their chinless meters feebly sneered
Through faces clean shaven
By poets so craven
As to cringe in their havens
Afeared of the beard so long.
The mighty beard of song.
The noble beard of song.
All hail the beard of song.
* see Jabberwocky.
@Karl Marx was born in Trier