To His Coy Carp (with apologies to Andrew Mackerel)

Koi-Carp

If I haddock but rhyme enough, parsley, thyme
This poetic parody would be no crime.
If you could share my world or I inhabit thine,
Thy Koi Carp lifestyle, would be mine.
Thou in the Indian Ganges’ tide
Should bubbles blow; I by thy side
In Humber would exhale. I would
Feed you tench years long your fishy food,
And you should, if you please, stay unholy,
Till the conversion of the coley.
.
My mackerel love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more roe;
An hundred years should go to plaice
Both eyes upon thy offset face;
Two hundred to adore each fin,
But many thousand till I begin;
An age at least to every scale,
And the longest age should you turn whale.
For, Fishy, you deservèd skate,
Nor would I cook at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time’s minnowèd chariot herring near;
But, I have other fish to fry
Deserts of bass eternally.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy waters’ realm, shall sound
My angling song: no worms shall try
To hook your preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turbot dust,
And into ashes, eel my lust:
Though hake is fine and whitebait, dace,
But none, I think, do these embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful glare
Sits on thy skin like sauce tartare,
And while, pike, whiting, sole, transpire
For evermore in deep-fat fryer,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And avoid the hungry birdseye of prey,
Rather at once our timely matter
Than languish in a slow-cooked batter.
Let us rollmop our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one fish ball,
And take our pleasures with rough fault
Without Cod’s vinegar and salt:
Thus, though you can but move your lips
Think this, my love, we’ve had our chips.

6 responses to “To His Coy Carp (with apologies to Andrew Mackerel)

  1. Ha! The last line is just fantastic. No wonder you’re so good at fishy (and fishy) puns!

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