A Greater Wreck Than the Hesperus

JLH has torqued a well-known poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to produce this synecdoche for current events in the squalid politics of Washington D.C.

Update: JLH’s stanza on typhus has been added.

A Greater Wreck Than the Hesperus

by JLH
(with apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

It was the Speaker, Nancy,
Who cruised the House’s aisles,
With lies upon her lips,
All covered up with smiles.

She’d gone from strength to strength,
Buoyed up by voter fraud.
Her funny little ways
Becoming downright odd.

Her city awash in culture,
And feces in its streets,
The rich and poor estranged,
And ne’er the twain should meet.

Yet meet they may, and very soon,
In ERs everywhere
For governing rats bring typhus rats,
Just to keep things fair.

The massive camps of homeless
Lined up on heating grates
Were, by themselves, not quite enough
To expand the electorate.

So though she’d already voted yea,
Had had no objection at all,
She prepared now to leave her body behind
To block the hated Wall.

It wasn’t only the votes, my dears,
But the principle of the thing.
And the principle in this case
Was giving The Donald a ding.

“What’s good for Chuck and Nancy
Is good for the country too.
Forget what you think we told you once;
Just believe what we tell you to.”

Then up spoke an old representative,
With the experience of many years.
The Wall was perhaps not so much to hate
As other things were to fear.

How far to the Left could the Party go?
And would they be left behind?
How should they deal with the up-and-comers
Who had more guts than mind?

Now Nancy had always leaned that way,
Which explained her present rank.
But lately she had the instinct
That she was being outflanked.

And though her heart was correctly placed
And her sympathies were right,
She nonetheless could not deny
That she was both old and white.

Now looking at her colleagues,
Old, new and in-between,
Did less to lift her spirits
Than activate her spleen.

Simple legislators morphed,
In the time it took to blink,
To: candidates, candidates everywhere,
Nor any one could think.

And so she took the podium
With cogent thoughts in mind.
Erect she stood and ready,
Bright-eyed and steely spined.

Both words and sounds came stuttering out,
Her eyelids blinked apace
And all amazed her comrades stared
At her botox-frozen face.

Her nonsense words were given wing
By the fluttering of her hands
But the watchers slowly sifted away
Like an hourglass’s sands.

And still she stands, for all I know,
And vainly stares ahead,
While others of that body
Have long since gone to bed.

9 thoughts on “A Greater Wreck Than the Hesperus

  1. Wow.

    It’s an amazing accomplishment. What’s really impressive is that as graphic as the stanzas, it doesn’t really use hyperbole. Reality provides quite enough material in the raw. It’s hard these days to differentiate leftists or neocons from caricatures of them.

  2. Hark, Hark, what manner of woman is this,
    who thinks she leads but is only a squish.

    Apologies to Shakespeare

  3. Albeit English is (and has been chronologically) my 4th language I reveled in reading this little gem.

    And agreeing with RonaldB – hyperbole needn’t be used: reality is grim enough.


  4. I wish I could write poetically – I can’t. I doff my cap to you JLH. Quite a piece of art you have written.

  5. Ah, JLH, I wish you could have worked in the plague of typhus that is descending on the southern part of her state, Calimexico:


    City Hall is full of the rats who carry the fleas which are the vector for typhus. They need a lot more cats, which NYC learned a long time ago.

    The problem goes homeless–>trash piles left to rot and fester–>rats w/fleas–>humans bitten by fleas –>humans sicken with typhus.

    Time to bring back typhus vaccine. And TB tests.

    Leprosy is next. Leprosy is carried by humans and by armadillos…they’d better consider refurbishing Carrville.

    • How’s this, to go right after “And ne’er the twain should meet”:

      Yet meet they may, and very soon,
      In ERs everywhere
      For governing rats bring typhus rats,
      Just to keep things fair.

    • I protest, on behalf of the ALF (Armadillo Liberation Front).

      More soberly, and not wanting to patronise the readership here, how many people know that the loss of bodily extremities from leprosy is due not to the direct effects of the disease, but because it desensitises the nerve endings, so that sufferers are unaware of the damage?

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