An ode to facial Hair.

 

An ode to facial Hair.

Poesus, mane namuse, pane poesus beardusis.

(Sing to me oh muses, sing to me of facial hair.)

Virgil

 

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 oerfilled the bowl

Wherein was nothing to be feared

Within the music of the beard.

 

 Though Brownings beard in 61

Could revel in its strength.

His lack of music grew because

Of what it lacked in length.

The lack of breadth in Arnolds 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 Tolstoys beard coniferous,

Sang briefly ere he lost the plot

Like Christ-crazed Fyodors idiot.

A while it mused in quiet Trier

To haunted Europes spectral fear.@

But then Atlantics 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 Citys throbbing girth.#

 

Whitman sang the beard electric

The democratic beard sans form,

A rambling, roaring beard of freedom;

Whiskered halloo of mans reform.

A beard that strolled amidst the poor folk,

Bringing hope to one and all,

A beard aboard the Brooklyn ferry

Echoing this new worlds noble call

Yet men sneered

Even leered, some they jeered

At this beard

Come among them,

As if to wrong them.

Perhaps they feared,

Its implications,

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 .

(profits gold)

 

And then the beards were lost to man

And verses 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

# sorry