Jonas Hallgrimsson

Table Hymn

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PRECENTOR:

We've got so much to bitch about,
such boundless grounds for whining,
the hour has come --- there is no doubt ---
to interrupt our dining.

CONGREGATION:

Christ, hear the creature,
canting like a preacher!
Should we gibe and jeer him?
Or hear him?

PRECENTOR:

I know a nation, combed and clean,
with comely lads and lasses,
loyal liegemen ever keen
to lick their masters' asses.

CONGREGATION:

Man, what's the matter?
My you like to chatter!
Your praise is both capricious
and vicious.

PRECENTOR:

Just now the natives feel their oats
(for nerve will rarely fail them),
demanding new and nifty boats
though not a soul can sail them.

CONGREGATION:

No need to worry
or gnash your teeth in fury ---
they're pretty good at going
out rowing!

PRECENTOR:

They've formed a new committee now,
announced by royal letter,
without an earthly inkling how
it ought to make things better.

CONGREGATION:

Well --- time will settle
whether that has mettle!
We find these facts we're getting
upsetting.

PRECENTOR:

This people's enterprise is not
a potent force behind it.
They live on curds and whey a lot
and liquor when they find it.

CONGREGATION:

True, they like drinking
till they're really stinking ---
we find these facts insightful
but spiteful.

PRECENTOR:

Incessant slumber makes them pleased;
their singing's really frightful;
their wool is often oddly teased,
their eiderdown delightful.

CONGREGATION:

Far from surprising
to find them late arising!
We think the things you're saying
dismaying.

PRECENTOR:

The children wear their charming hats
like chipper little Frenchmen.
The dales are dark with bureaucrats
from Denmark and their henchmen.

CONGREGATION:

Mister! I wouldn't
mutter things you shouldn't!
Things you'd best forget about ---
not fret about!

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Jonas Hallgrimsson