01 December 2007

the subject's duty

we aren't quite sure what lies just past the door
but have to open it so we might see
the outcome of the moment rich or poor
you might have reason to say let things be
or call on everyone to bend the knee
to any fool who takes the name of king
and praise his virtue while you kiss his ring
the whole affair takes no more than an hour
you will arrive with one arm in a sling
to bow before the master in his power

we don't know how such matters were before
with harder types we were forced to agree
to make the lesser out to be much more
or else to take the cash and simply flee
seeking a better or a safer lea
where in due time we'd think to have a fling
once we had slipped control of leading-string
we'd do much better if we had a shower
and could a cleaner sweeter presence bring
to bow before the master in his power

there's one who told us that he knew the score
and now we see him dangle from a tree
that's not the sort of thing we could ignore
and just go on to sit and sip our tea
or get dressed up and go out on a spree
to listen while the pretty ladies sing
of rivers flowing in the coming spring
instead we find that bravest folk must cower
until they hear the loud commanding ring
to bow before the master in his power

prince what you want you know we have to bring
to you although we can't say a damn' thing
beneath the shadow of your prison tower
for fear of something harsher than the sting
of lash and now must stand with broken wing
to bow before the master in his power

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