When in October the cold winds doth blow
Blustery omens that show future snow,
This is when we find our dear English teachers
Encourage their students endeavor such features
As to design such a product giv'n hence
That exemplifies their own persn'l two-pence
Based on the subjects of just finished studies
That they may therewith procure knowledge with ease
Of what shall appearance make on their exam
Discour'ging the usual Test Day's Eve cram,
Causing their ad'lescent brains thus engage,
Procure something 'riginal across their minds' stage.
But much more than that they hope each one applies
The lessons that literature doth supply.
The goal of a teacher: do all to impart
The wisdom of others through inspired art:
Life always proves to be much more complex
Than the multiple choice standard'zation corrects.
From which high end stems the following product,
Result of an effort found somewhat neurotic.
Herewith is disclosed a most curious tale
Of a curious char'cter of varied avail,
An added appendage to Chaucer's grand party
A pers'nage whose varied traits are found most hardy,
With listed profession and its true degree
Proving herself ever amiable.
There once was a Student, a real teenage girl
Who, having grown up in an area rural,
Came to reside in suburban par'dise
Possessing its share of both virtue and vice.
A girl of sixteen having such pleasant manner—
A “Please” and a “thank you” as her constant banner.
She always took care to be polite and friendly
Known friend to all of the gen'ral assembly.
Studious, org'nized and smart she appeared
With 'ccasion'lly manifest wisdom past years;
But known to those found more close in proxim'ty
More was observed beyond casual “witty”:
A girl of deep thought to the point of forgetting
And setting aside of what others deemed fitting.
Her inner mentality 'yond status quo,
The norms of society she did often forgo.
Her days were filled as with fanciful daydream
Imag'nation ruling her thoughts to extreme.
High hope of success also laced with uniqueness
Hidden 'hind efforts procured by duress.
Her mind was a cyclone of thoughts diving deep
Through levels that no peer of hers dared to leap;
Transfixed with aesthetics that nature doth bear
Hours flew by with her gazing at “air”.
But her finest achievements, the acts performed brazen,
Were those that she realized by use of her pen;
Words were her art and she painted with care
Scenes and ideas with implied “au contraire!”
Of her facets another was that of good looks:
Shining brown hair as if straight from a book;
Tall, thin and elegant—that was her presence,
Seen presentation (to some an offense)
Was such that few boys ever dared to approach her
Excepting those asking, “Pray, what is your college year?”
But such was her nature that she didn't mind
Rather she cried, “Why, this suits me just fine!
I can live as I mean to without common pause
Unlike other girls 'fraid to commit faux pas!”
She kept on in learning and living her life
Her religious devotion thus kept it from strife.
Each night before dreams and the pillow hit her head,
She'd say nightly prayers before climbing in bed.
She always tried best to di as she knew right,
Dictated by conscious with all of her might.
She was wont to love others, that they might be holpen,
Service her creed, from the Bible begotten.
Thus her path crosses on this fateful day
With yours as her tale now begins to give sway,
Taking the stage with its morals and humor
Both flaws and virtues threat'ning to consume her.
Pay close attention to what she shall say
'Twixt these white pages and into the fray.
She casts her mind presently as to now show
What she possesses in all of her “know”:
A tale of a girl not much diff'rent than she.
Perhaps that's the point, but it's all up to thee
As to how you will take this new tale, at face value?
Or something a little more diff'cult to swallow?
One way or another, please proceed with caution
As you bravely press on through this quaint narration.
The Student's Prologue:
“Hello friends! A good day, good tidings to thee
'Tis a pleasure to be here with such company
As to brighten one's spirits and while away time
Onward in journey to place near-sublime.
An audience! What a rare pleasure indeed
Rarely thus am I viewed though I silently plead
For someone to notice the thoughts of my heart
So diff'rent from most, yes, a setting apart.
This is the state of my life, most ironic,
Condemned to normality, plague of bubonic,
Caught in society's ideal perfection
Wrapping me up in unneeded connection
Of which I hold escape no fonder desire
From this place to 'magined potential much higher
Than that which behind my facade I encase
An artful disguise to the whole human race.
From such distress stems a poem of degree
That portrays my outlook on humanity.
Listen herewithly while I will disclose
Just what I am thinking through cleverest prose.”
The Student's Tale:
“I tell of a tale of a girl just like me:
Sitting and sighing and feeling unfree
From what has befallen her life's current frame'
Elysia is what can be known as her name.
A poor peasant girl living cent'ries ago
Living in medieval feudal time throes;
But her world was found to be smaller than that:
A peasant confined to a laborer's spat.
To a system beholden, from decades so countless
Fraught with mistreatment designed to depress
One's spirits though hard you may try to withstand
The effort of those who would make you the damned.
No fam'ly to name, a poor orphan was she,
Mistreated, condemned to a life's poverty.
In lieu of her parents, taskmaster's corruption
Replaced gentle love and enforced rough production.
Not a moment of rest from sun-up to sun-down,
Never to once set foot outside of town,
If town it can be called, as such was its state
Of entrapment amidst tiny buildings of slate.
Thus is our heroine's lot at this time;
Quite dismal, assur'dly, ruined in her prime.
But this is not all, yes, the plot herewith worsens;
I tell you she wasn't 'mong ignorant persons;
Her mind was suscept'ble to the “devil's notions”
Of higher existence and such precognitions
As that men were made so to rise in this sphere
Of meager mortal'ty, past “inferior”—
Which was what her now current status decreed,
A social enforcement none could supersede.
A girl with big thoughts, she was trapped in her brain
Filled with ideas: 'twas her cause to complain
Of what is agreed as a hapless existence
A constant drag down on her moral persistence.
Prestige or power, course these were denied
To this miserable wretch, though her soul often cried,
“Release me from these social chains that encircle
My progression inside of this tale oratorical.
Is this my fate to live day after day
In an empty existence, a life on delay
Of all that I think I could somehow achieve
If only my innermost thoughts were perceived
By someone who could help me from these ashes rise
From this barren wasteland to see the sun rise
On a glorious new realization-spurred hour
Of just what man can do, if he's given the pow'r?”
And so she continued on, day after day
Stumbling throughout life without a clear way
Of finding just what it might be that she wanted:
The happiness that in all others seemed flaunted,
Till fin'lly the master hit her hard one time
And somehow that act threw her over the line.
She turned and she ran with tears stinging her eyes
Flowing rivers of water, abundant supplies.
Half blindly by grief and the rage in her heart,
Running hurriedly on to the woods she did dart
Till at last she found the right place of seclusion,
Quiet and peace were found there in profusion,
Where at the moment she could just ignore
The questions so loudly her logic implored,
Temporal questions of full habitation
That changes could be made toward mitigation.
But for the pres'nt she was calm as she sat
And reasoned within herself that that was that.
Fin'lly she was free, even though it was briefly
Having prov’n to herself such things as chiefly
That she had to power to change her condition
However temp'rary might be the rendition.
She vowed ne'er return to the place that she came from
In that loneliest life prone to leaving her numb
Desolate empt'ness so oft found implied
Living no life—and how hard she had tried
To feel as if she might be serving a purpose
To anything to benefit from her service
Besides her cruel master whose varied abuses
Left scars of all kinds on her form he peruses
Such that she felt she might never recover.
Could one shake off the cold actions of others?
As she was thus pondering her then state
Wond'ring what else could emerge as her fate,
Another burst suddenly into the clearing
His moaning and groaning assaulting her hearing.
Dressed head to toe in the finest of raiment
His very manners suggesting such payment
As only afforded by richest of rich
Affluence ev'dent in every fine stitch.
It took sev'ral moments in which for his eyes
To reg'ster this int'resting new girl's surprise.
He drew himself then quickly up to full height
At which his splendor couldst sparkle with light;
But long it was not until that his broad shoulders
Again sagged to the earth as if weighted by boulders.
He plopped next to her with theatrical sighs
Wiping impressive big tears from his eyes.
He drew in a breath and began quite a spate
Of which I shall now be obliged to narrate.
“O woe is me, such a poor, sullen creature!
An one such as I is the most wretched seeker!
Living the life of a caged little bird
Any notion of independence thence deterred
By the plans of those much super'or than I
My agency forfeit in blink of the eye.
Set on a pedestal for all to see
What a quaint little pet is a boy such as me.
For 'tis boy that I am, for I'm not yet a man
As I am unable to make my own plan
A prerequisite for to my manhood achieving
I fall miserably short of just what I'm believing
That is what precisely what I deem should be
Not dictated by allof humanity
Turning my life to what they think should be
Not one of my choices is left up to me,
For I should act thus as my conscious dictates
Not to the whims of some stuffy mag'strates
Who say that in my interests they are set
When actually I know that they want to get
The best possible out of me in their favor
While flav'ring my life with the bitt'rest of flavor.
Trapped in a palace—a horrible fate!
The thickest of walls as my glamorized crate
All the day long I think how my desires
Can never come true though I feel such a fire
Burning within of my young teenage breast
To follow my heart and do what I deem best
“Quotha! A soon-to-be-king if you will,
That is my lot in this life to fulfill,
A title that inflames in all jealousy
Though I cannot imagine for the life of me
Why anyone would such a burden seek after
A position as such that thus squeezes all laughter
And joy and contentment all out of your life
Charact'rized instead by war and by strife.
For some reason the whole world has got this strange notion
That roy'lty is nothing but easy promotion
To a wonderful world full of richest enchantment
When actually it is a mirage entrapment;
An empire's weight on your shoulders born down
Such is the difficult burden of crown
Of which it seems no other option I'm given
But to continue in arrogant living
With riches and gold and affluence and ease
Surrounded by the finest of luxuries.
But I have since come to a single conclusion
To explain my sadness though wealth in profusion
Surrounded me from the moment of birth:
That is not how you should measure true worth;
For all the gold in the world is so pointless
If the life that you live has become also meaningless.
I am told that I possess all of which to be happy
Yet inside my soul I feel utterly crappy.”
Another big sigh and he slumped himself o'er
Letting out all of his angst-driven furor
Till fin'lly his sobs had subsided enough
To peek at the girl that at first he'd judged rough.
But a careless glance rarely ever reveals
What is inside, a true person's appeals.
Lines of hard dirt down her face had been streaking
Bidding him realize 'twas not just he seeking
Escape from the cage that his life had turned into
Till he had decided true life to pursue.
She was perfectly still and his breath she was baiting
Her posture betraying her e'er-patient waiting
For him to remember alone he was not—
There still was a person he'd almost forgot
In his scaled-up tale he had told of such woe
As if he were only the one that could show
The tragedies that this life dost oft' bring
The cruel tricks of fate that it frequently flings
At hardworking mere mortals on earth
Causing at times us to question our worth.
His shameful blue eyes, they peeked up at the girl
Through a rumpled halo of pampered blonde curls.
Prince Charming was anymore not quite so dashing
But rather as one in great need of a thrashing.
How was he to know that he, just a young lad,
Had come across one with a tale just as sad
If not more so after that all she had endured
This angel that nature had somehow procured
And placed in his way at this darkest of hours
When this young man had come so far 'way from his tow'rs.
Isn't it funny how life has a way
Of showing us often that our own dismay
Is so, so much smaller than those who surround
Us in this confusing life to be found
At times when we think that we have it the worst,
No, sorrow to us it is never a first:
Troubles have happened since the world first was
A natural opposition here because
Learning is best received through exper'ence
Through test and trials born of heav'n's interference.
Next time that you may be feeling most blue
Think—much worse things could so happen to you!
When finally silence enveloped around them,
Elysia gently made a small move toward him.
Rather than unleash her own tale of woe
Her personal share of untold pain and sorrow,
Instead she placed her hand gently on his,
Gave him an empathetic smile as is
Her nature within her so deeply ingrained
A trait that to him so curr’ntly pertained.
“I know how you feel.” It was all that she said
Causing understanding to replace his own dread.
He turned and gazed into those darkest of eyes
Light with compassion to his utmost surprise.
In that briefest of moments something was exchanged
Like somewhere in space fateful stars were arranged.
These two people's differences it would seem
Were too vast to e'er span the large space between
Their utterly polarly opposite lives
Stemming from the gap society implies.
But that is where it is wrong you'd be proven
For sometimes it is found as most behooven
That actually those on antipodes of the spectrum
Have equal amounts of just what may connect them.
Absolute value more nearly descries
What has been realized by wisest of wise
In that outliers are act'ally found to be equal—
Exceptions are all very similar people.
They sat for a moment in deep contemplation
Of the incredulity that from separate station
They found in each other a fitting companion.
A conclusion with the untold power to stun
The stuffiest representatives of sovereignty
It is a shock that foresight canst not prep!
All of a sudden a breath she drew in—
He prepared himself for the fitting disc'pline.
But when she did speak he was thusly enamored
By her simplicity though his stark manners clamored
For correction that would be most deserving
Of his own selfish int'rest that he had been serving.
Instead, still she grasped his soft hand in her own
She smiled in a way that was oft' quite renown
As a look that the wise often venture to don
When preparing the deliv'ry of fitting sermon.
“My dear fellow wanderer,” she began thus,
“It seems that fate has so far been kind to us
In placing each other in each other's way
To show one another what best to convey
That would abrade our rough patches as needed
And send us the wisdom that should now be heeded.
From this chance meeting I've reached some conclusions
Of what can be done with hard times in profusions
Which seem despite station to come forth regardless
So let me share what I now know—that is this:
That external circumstances have no pow'r
On the happiness each of us feels hour by hour.
I am a peasant, by stigma made black,
And you are a prince given all that I lack
Yet have us both felt so fully miserable
Each of our lives rendered bleak and so dismal.
Thus so it is you have proven to me
That riches cannot ever quite guarantee
That you will be happy or carefree or true
To what you have deemed to be most of virtue.
“Happiness, my heart now largely discovers
Is subject to blessings a person uncovers.
No matter what may be their hard lot in life,
One always can always find better than strife.
Possessions possess such irrelevancy
Upon what I find to be most dear to me.
It is your opinion, your own divine right,
To insure that your pathway is ever so bright.
To each person God has entrusted so fully
The most priceless gift in the form of their agency
To extract from their life just what they all may—
The choice is all mine at the end of the day
Just what I will do with the things I've been given.
Shall I choose to be selfishly driven?
Or shall I try to help others in need
Even when my own self I can't feed?
From this day forward I will live diff'rent
Helping others find all that is heaven-sent,
To extract from life just what it can give
And find that in happiness they too can live.
And all of a sudden thus it is that I see
Only I can decide whether or not I truly am free!”
All at once she fell silent, a new smile on her face,
Content now that she had discovered her place
In a world of confusion, anguish and strife
She was now ready to begin a new life.
But what she was unprepared for now came after—
From the prince's own throat came the soft sound of laughter.
And then he leaned over and her cracked lips he kissed
And suddenly realized just all he had missed.
In sullenly stumbling from one day to the next
He had been selfly deprived of the best
That life had to offer to those who dared seek
Brightness of hope when all seemed most bleak.
Her utter surprise across her face showed
That she would never have suspected what followed.
“My dear newfound angel,” was how he began,
“Your kindness had shown me an inspired plan,
A way that I can live good and right
A course more courageous than cowardly flight.
I have decided once I have returned
To where I have come I'll tell what I've learned
From the very smartest of girls among women,
That I also endeavor that I for to help them in
Doing just what it is that to me you have taught
Giving me everything I had sought.
And now, one last thing, if you'll stoop to this favor
I would be pleased if you'd do me the honor
Of accepting my hand that I offer to you
And pledge that to me you will always be true.
It seems to me, truly happy I canst not be
Without you, the one who just so completes me:
She who has proven my other half
The one I to which I can cry, and also laugh.
You are the most beaut'ful of creatures I've ever
Had occasion to behold and to me all the treasure
That I could ever possess could never compare
With you being my wife, though I know it's not fair
To ask such a princess as I know you to be
To make her way through life stuck with me.”
Eliza looked at him through heav'ly veiled eyes
Doing her best at containing surprise.
But finally she could no longer contain it:
She laughed—how could she further restrain it?
Life had turned upside down once again
Sending her reeling with another hard spin.
She stood and looked down on his most anxious face
Inwardly smiling at his current disgrace.
She curtsied and then she theatrically said,
“There is no other to whom I'd rather be wed
Than you, who has taught me the most important lesson
Saving me from any further transgression.”
He jumped and threw his arms 'round her figure
So ecstatic to be rightly there with her
The girl who only mere minutes before
Had been just a stranger, someone else to abhor.
And now, faithful listener, it is your turn
To decide just what you can learn
From this clichéd moral-filled tale
Regardless of from where it is that you hail
I'm sure you are ready to be done with these rhymes
Though bad they may be, they apply to all times.
Materials are ever so insignificant
To what is important right here in the present.
Contentment derives not from possessions
But rather from virtue and moral discretions.
As the saying goes, when most are dying,
“More time in the office!” is not what they're crying.
Hold onto your values and what is most dear,
You loved ones and actions, and it will be clear
Just what your own priorities should be.
Through love it is thus we can all be set free.