Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"The Justin" - Revision of a Poem

This is what happens when you have little sleep, what seems like a great idea and nothing but time on your hands.  I got the idea and kind of ran with it just to see where it goes.  If you like it, cool.  If you don't, cool.  I figured I worked on the damn thing, I might as well share it. 

A poem about the maiden the Score, the devil Justin whose only intelligible phrase is "NeverScore" and the person who meets said Justin at his sports bar door.  I didn't change a whole lot from the Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, but I did change a few things here and there.  I think it makes sense, but really, I'm too tired to care.  The first stanza before the jump to get a taste and you can decide whether or not you want to read the whole thing.



Once upon a season dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten scores,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my sports bar door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my sports bar door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying agent wrought his fist upon the doors.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From the games increase in sorrow - sorrow for the loss of Score-
For the rare and radiant array whom the players called the Score -
Sightless here for evermore.

And the drunken fan’s uncertain bustling of each sodden poor soul
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my sports bar door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my sports bar door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was chatting, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my sports bar door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered words, `No Score!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the words, `No Score!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the sports bar turning, all my fandom in me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let these fans be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Justin of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my sports bar door -
Perched upon a bust of Selig just above my sports bar door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this Prospect Justin beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy face be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure won’t bustin’.
Ghastly grim and ancient Justin wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Bud's Baseballian shore!'
Quoth the Justin, `NeverScore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly foul to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing Justin above his sports bar door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his sports bar door,
With such name as `NeverScore.'

But the Justin, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not his glovework then he puttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have swung before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `NeverScore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some mistaken offense whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his thoughts one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-neverScore."'

But the Justin still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned stool in front of he and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous man of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous man of yore
Meant in croaking `NeverScore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the foe whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's emblem lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose sporty emblem lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
They shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Zduriencik whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy Season lent thee - by these agents he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of the Score!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost, this Score!'
Quoth the raven, `NeverScore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if man or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `NeverScore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if man or devil!
By that Office that reigns o’er us - by that Game we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted stat line whom the agents named the Score -
Clasp a rare and radiant stat line, whom the angels named the Score?'
Quoth the raven, `NeverScore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, man or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Bud's Baseballian shore!
Leave no pine tar as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy cleat from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `NeverScore.'

And the Justin, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Selig just above my sports bar door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

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