The Ballad of Freedom speaks penetratingly of serious matters, but that doesn't stop it being a joyful read.
It begins like this:
Now Mr. Jeremiah Bane
He owned a warehouse in The Lane,
An edifice of goodly size,
Where, with keen private enterprise,
He sold imported napery
And drapery - and drapery.
His singlets and his socks were sent
Out over half the continent;
In clothing for the nursery
And mercery - and mercery
He plied a most extensive trade,
And quite enormous profits made,
And barracked, with much fervency,
For foreign-trade - described as "Free."
The trade described as Free.
And then we get a whole story about this dreadful, cunning man, which I thoroughly recommend.
A Ballad of Freedom poem reminds me rather of The Canterbury Tales. It has the same winking humour and sharp eye for hypocrisy, and the same slightly sardonic realism and delight in the arrangement of language.
How could anyone afford to miss something like that?
The whole poem - do read it - can be found HERE.
Word To Use Today: mercery. Mercery is fine fabrics (mercery are fine fabrics? Oh dear, that's a place that English won't go, isn't it) such as velvet and silk. The word comes from the Latin mers, which means goods or wares.