Merry Wanderer of The Night
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Called Robin Goodfellow. Are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery,
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn,
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm,
Mislead night-wanders, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.
Are you not he?
Thou speakest aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal;
And sometime lurk I in a gossip’s bowl
In very likeness of a roasted crab,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her withered dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And ‘tailor’ cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.
With this post I continue both the wall texture experiment and the AMSND character exploration in the previous post. In that Puck is a trickster spirit , this post also is connected to the Crow-Magnon post from last Thursday. The wall composition used in producing images 1, 2 & 4 was from Syncopated Eyeball ‘s Shed III.
Puck is the typical trickster spirit. He is chaos & creativity, knowledge & nightmare, freedom & habituation. He can bring praise & ridicule. Self knowledge that leads to enlightenment or hubris. He can lead as Will-O’-the-Wisp into the swamps to be lost or to buried treasure of self-discovery.
Puck’s other names and identities have appeared in a number of culture associations. Will-O’-the-Wisp is sometimes declared to be nothing more than swamp gas, like a lot of UFO’s. You know, those mysterious lights that chase and befuddle travelers. Those lights that contain strange small human like creatures that seem to delight in testing and confusing us.
Then there is that name , Robin Goodfellow. Robin of the woods, who leads you on a Merry chase., blending into the green wood tree.
Of course there is another Robin who is a good-fellow and accompanies a dark lord of the night.
Note the Old English style lettering used in the name and the light fun-loving adventurous spirit of the depiction of the character.
The Welsh called him Pwca, which is pronounced the same as his Irish incarnation Phouka, Pooka or Puca. These are far from his only names. Pooka leads us to the classic play and movie Harvey. Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart) and his friend, Harvey – a pooka in the form of a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall invisible rabbit. You will notice the elements of the rabbit in my first rendition at the top of the post.
Our Merry Wanderer has led us on a merry chase through time, folklore, literature and popular media culture. We started with Shakespeare’s play and progressed through Sherwood and Gotham City and then from Broadway to Hollywood. Now here we are at the end of this post. Sleep well.
423 If we shadows have offended,
424 Think but this, and all is mended,
425 That you have but slumber’d here
426 While these visions did appear.
427 And this weak and idle theme,
428 No more yielding but a dream,
429 Gentles, do not reprehend:
430 if you pardon, we will mend:
431 And, as I am an honest Puck,
432 If we have unearned luck
433 Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
434 We will make amends ere long;
435 Else the Puck a liar call;
436 So, good night unto you all.
437 Give me your hands, if we be friends,
438 And Robin shall restore amends.