1. The King and the Fool
In a land far far away, a time long long ago,
Of regal blood of the wise ones of the lore,
Of might and foresight, but no trace of ego,
Reigned a king a reign of prosperity galore.
The king's court adorned one score and one more,
Master of art and craft, of the word and of sword,
Of healing and dealing; those of wealth and stealth,
But the one the ruler's heart doth rule was the fool.
Of heart pure, the fool; Of his loyalty, very sure,the king;
Merry the tunes from his lute, astute the wit in his verse;
Doth one and all in his art, not just revels, reveals also he,
The truth, through his foolery, that they fear to bring forth.
2. A Fool's Lament
Inky stinky hankie, a king had a donkey;
To the kingdom's fortunes hold I no key;
The cow even, can jump over the moon;
The fool uneven, is but a stupid old loon.
Not a healer of wounds am I, an interpreter of maladies;
Not the master of sounds am I, a composer of melodies;
Not a general vanquishing foes am I, a veteran of wars;
Not a merchant sailing the seas am I, a trader of wares.
Not much learning have I, just a heart full of yearning;
No fame have I, just for seekers of mirth a fair game;
Nor gold and lands have I, just a pair of funny hands;
No influence have I, just a tiresome life of diffidence.
This life pell-mell hell, the fool fell in a well.
A fool from his folly yell only a death knell.
The land of angels, of eternal bliss and joy,
Is calling; I shall no longer be a court's toy.
Over the entire realm a dark shadow cast,
For dear fool, thou hath ceased to amuse.
Over time shall memories of thine jest last.
Beloved child of Thalia, of comedy, muse.
Greater the need for healing, hearts laden with sorrow.
Sweeter than divinest music, melody of merry laughter.
Sharper than the sharpest saber, wit of the clever fool.
Rarer than egg sized rubies, hidden words of wisdom.
What learning can teach a rustic fool his native wisdom?
What fame can win a place in the heart of the emperor?
What wealth can buy one wisecrack or a pun, random?
What influence can, the control over a laughter, mirror?
Wisdom had you deserted, my friend.
Else, would you your heart have rend?
For is no trade in itself, small or great.
In his own mind, man decides his fate.
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Writer’s Notes :
The King and the Fool creates the setting. The first stanza shows the king to be a wise and able ruler like Akbar or Ashoka. Second paragraph shows the king’s court and the 21 talented and/or powerful courtiers like the 9 gems in Akbar’s court and the high place ‘The Fool’ holds in the king’s hear among this talented bunch. Third paragraph introduces the Fool and his valuable contributions.
Fool’s Lament is described by the Fool. The first stanza shows a broken heart amidst the foolery. Thats why mixture of sad and nonsensical lines.The second stanza the Fool compares himself with other courtiers, here a doctor, a musician, a warrior and a merchant. Third stanza the fool decries his worthlessness saying he has no fame, wealth, power or education, the things most people value. Final stanza indicates his committing suicide. Thats why his words of foolery get nonsensical in a hysterical sense.
The King’s Lament is the King’s reaction to the fool’s death. The first stanza indicates the loss the king feels and the high esteem he has for the Fool. The second and third stanzas are partners to the second and third stanzas in The Fool’s Lament. Each line in King’s Lament has the answer to the respective line in The Fool’s Lament. In the last stanza the King summarizes the moral of the whole poem with a few final words of wisdom.