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Thomas Mc Rae
[To Thomas Mc Rae’s index] [Back to the index of the New McGonagall’s poems.]

Poems by the New McGonagall

By Tomas Mc Rae, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, ©1988

When I acted out the role of the World’s Best Bad Poet on the Walkways at Brisbane’s WORLD EXPO 88 I added a few poems of my own in similar genre.

Here is one I still remember.

On the Amazing Escape of
a Cambridge Scholar from a Wild Boar

By William McGonagall via Tom Mc Rae

On 24 December one Eve of Christmas long ago,

A scholar of Queen’s College, Cambridge, was trudging through the snow.

He was not en-route with friends to drain many’s the drunken glass.

Nay, like a decent Christian he was on his way to Mass

And he carried no sinful wine or beer bottle,

But rather the Complete Works of Aristotle.

This huge book must have been a very heavy load,

For the scholar to carry on the snow-covered road.

Perhaps if he had left it in his house

It might have been eaten by a hungry rat or mouse,

Or maybe the priest to him the book had lent

And he was going to return it when to Mass he went.

Mayhap from its wise pages well he read

As on that icy track he dauntlessly did tread.

But whatever the reason, he carried Aristotle’s book

As all about he timorously did look,

For in those days of yore in forest’s murk

All manner of horrendous beasts there used to lurk.

He looked to left and looked to right.

Praise God no wild beasts were in sight.

He sighed with relief. Then with a roar

Out of the bushes sprang a huge wild boar,

Which at our hero proceeded to glower

As it prepared him for to devour.

Oh for that poor scholar this could not have been much fun,

As through the snow from it he could not very well run.

But only stand in paralysed fear and look

Holding before him Aristotle’s book.

He knew that he was near to death

When the boar sprang at him and he smelled its foetid breath.

Would this be the end of his scholarly career

With no time to even say an Ave Maria?

But this was a scholar of very great note.

So he quickly shoved the Complete Works of Aristotle down the boar’s gaping throat.

From before him it tried to retreat

But choked itself instead and fell down at his feet.

Through the slippery snow our hero ran quite merrily,

Attended Mass and thanked the Lord for his safe delivery.

On his way back home he found the boar still there stark dead.

So he pulled out his dagger and cut off his head

Which he cheerfully carried along to Queen’s College,

Where it was roasted on Christmas Day and made a welcome change from pease porridge.

But, my friends, whatever happened to The Complete Works of Aristotle

That the scholar had used the wild boar to throttle?

Unfortunately that must forever remain a mystery,

Forever hidden in the lost pages of history.

But in Queen’s College every Christmas Day

The scholars escape is celebrated up unto this day.

His great escape all do recall

As a boar’s head is carried around the dining hall.

While everybody drinks wine or beer from the barrel

And joins in singing “The Boar’s Head Carol”.

Thus ends this tale from me The New McGonagall,

Who concludes by wishing a Merry Christmas to Ye one and all.

[To Thomas Mc Rae’s index] [Back to the index of the New McGonagall’s poems.]

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