minstrel: Performing in Feast Halls

E. Howard-Wroth ercil at astrid.upland.ca.us
Wed Mar 12 13:48:39 PST 1997


> >  (Astridhr, do you have acopy of
> > my "Response to Ioseph" piece that appeared in Bard's Fire?  I lost mine
> > *and* the issue of Bard's Fire when I moved).
> > Yaakov > > (a simple man with simple pleasures) > > Harold Feld

Dear Yaakov and Company,

Yes I do, and you are in luck since BOTH my children are down for
naps AT THE SAME TIME!  I also have another piece by C.M Joserlin (Raven)
from Northshield in the the Midrealm,  if anyone from that area would 
check with Raven to see if I may post his poem: Courtesy at a Feast (another
viewpoint of the same question with...consequences...) ,
then I will do so.  Meanwhile here is Yaakov's piece...

best,
Astridhr


A Response to Ioseph
-------------------
By Mar Yaakov HaMizrachi, Atlantia
copyright Harold Feld , 1994

You write about a harper
growing haggard wan and pale
With song drowned out by gabbering
and crashing pots of ale
While I would be the first to say
that music is a treat 
Please don't forget the dining room
is where folks go to eat!

I too have had to earn my keep
with pen and nimble word
(Lord knows I'd starve
if I had to rely upon my sword!)
And while the years can't equal
half of all you've sung and told
I'll offer my advice to you if I may be so bold.

What bard does not enjoy himself
when plying at his trade?
But more important than his pleasure
is the joy of gettin' paid.
The baron's boorish manners
may make a poet curse
But I forgive him when he tosses me
a weighty well-full purse.

Remember that we're hired for
their pleasure not for ours
To help enhance the mood
or wring forth smiles from the glowers
If they find joy in fellowship
instead of this our song
Is it our place to lecture them
and tell them they are wrong?

Too many entertainers
have I seen kick up a fuss
Expecting rapt attention
as the Gods gave Orpheus
Complaining that the audience
did ne'er give them a chance
When it is we who msut rely upon
their thanks, their sufferance.

Consider now the other side,
companions sharing wine
Discussing pressing matters or
perhaps the day most fine
They wish to eat with friends
and to set their heart at ease
Why kill their joy by calling out
`Attention: Silence Please!'

Is it not rude to interrupt
their intimate discourse?
And make them sit in silence
while awaiting their next course?
And if some resent it,
don't you think we give them cause
When we break up their discussion
in demanding their applause?

A song or tale is but a gift
for them to take or spurn
You cannot force it on them
just because you want your turn
If you hate the competition
with the talk of tankard crack 
Then join the other bards
at the last table in the back.

`Tis there that you will find me,
for as you know I fell
It's cruel to interrupt 
another fellow at his meal.
I'll gladly hear you sing or play,
your talent can't be beat,
But please put up with the noise,
or else please wait until I eat.

------------------

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