Ode to a Sullied Set

James Redpath 4 March 2020
Triumph of Bacchus (1628-1629) by Diego Velázquez

Reprinted from Peterhouse’s ‘The Dodo’, Lent Term, Issue 10, February 2020

 

The drapes that hang, boy wizard to proclaim,

Cannot disguise the scenes of revels past.

Their deeds, my God! Unspeakable to name!

Their stains, long dried, eternity to last.

 

Do not blame me, the humble messenger!

Unlike them am I free from all disgrace.

For ‘tis not true, oh no! I ne’er did err;

My blood is Cambridge blue, my heart is chaste.

 

To those not yet acquainted with this tale,

I urge you now, condemn this to the flame.

For ‘tis no pleasure for me to regale

The acts to which good men can lay no claim.

 

Forsooth, to void one’s stomach on the floor;

Can such befit the future engineer?

To drink until one’s guts can take no more;

Does this to buxom maidens man endear?

 

And though ‘tis sweet relief from bladder full,

The bedroom floor is not the place to go!

What sweet liqueur could so the senses dull?

Did sodden man a sodden floor bestow?

 

I am a sadder yet a wiser man,

And bound to offer help as much I can

To those who dwell there now. For rash it is

For those who value cleanliness to sleep on bedsheets

Drenched in…