Halt o’ kind men, in suit, in pursuit. Listen to the tales I sing on my lute. When I conclude I’ll lighten your mood With three bars of music, and one string of truth. One song for sorrow and three songs of joy; A verse on the verso—this tale is a decoy Of turns of events. Our hero ascents To rectify on recto for you to enjoy. A tale of a trip, a stain on your shirt, A jab of misfortune stuck like the dirt. Spare me your hate. I’m a mirror to reflect Your failures in love our hero will avert. Humour my hero for the time he has clocked. My tales are but woven for you to be mocked. These songs that I play May mock you today. But they hide the truth of the path to be walked. My truth is coins that you would have tossed. The claps and the cheers, the moments that crossed Are fictional stripes In tales of our lives. Once I have left, my place would be lost. My songs and my tales will linger for days— Or if sung to your kids—a couple of decades. They’ll lose their use, And no longer amuse; They will erode from your consciousness. A hundred years later, I will come lay my claim On songs of the miseries that you overcame. I’ll once again narrate The deceptions of fate. I'll have a new crowd; I'll have a new name.
Notes: I thought it would be a neat little trick to use approximately metered limerick for portraying the philosophy of a poor busker. —S.B. (31.07.2020)