Tuesday, November 25, 2008

210. Mud Bath

The Bath area of the West of England is noted for its healing springs. This legend celebrates its founder.


In the dimness of antiquity, there lived a handsome Prince,
Whose name has been revered and praised by all men, ever since.
Bladud was the young man's name; he knew his destiny
Was to rule his nation; to this end he studied constantly.
In search of learning he went forth and finally came to Greece,
Where he hoped to learn the ways of truth and dignity and peace.
But, sad to say, in Athens, he contracted leprosy
And a sad, disfigured Prince returned to face his family.
'You cannot rule' his father said 'You'd bring our family shame!
Flee somewhere far away, my son! Don't besmirch our regal name!'
His mother wept at her poor son's plight, and handed him a ring.
'Keep this safe as a gift from me while you are wandering.'
So the sad Prince left as a peasant, with neither hearth nor home,
Disfigured by his leprosy and destined the earth to roam.
'I must work to live' said Bladud  'Since no royal crown is mine.
I'll live as so many peasants do, herding the humble swine.'
So, for many years, he herded pigs across the countryside
Until, at last, they sickened too and many of them died.
He must have been a sorry sight, his remaining pigs were few,
And he was covered in lesions! What was a man to do?
But suddenly a pig went wild and galloped off until
It came to a pond of thick black mud, at the bottom of the hill.
It jumped right in and almost sank; it was in it to the snout!
So Bladud clambered in as well. He must get the creature out!
The rescue took a while, of course, as the animal thrashed and squealed,
But when it staggered to the bank, its leprosy was healed!
So Bladud wallowed in the mud, constantly, day by day,
Till his leprosy finally disappeared in a miraculous way.
Then back to his parents he returned, an older man, it's true,
But he showed his mother's golden ring, so everybody knew
That he was the rightful future king. And he quickly made it known
That his saviour had been a humble pig, one animal, on its own.
So Bladud founded a city, where healing waters run,
And he ruled in Bath for twenty years as his father's rightful son.
He governed with honesty and wit; his edicts all were sound
But he never forgot the lowly pig who'd turned his fortunes round.


Mari Meehan said...

Goes to show going "hog wild" every now and then can be good for your health!

Darlene said...

Wow! This must have been a hard rhyme to compose. You did it well. Thank you.

Kat said...

Agree with DWM and Darlene... a gripping poem.

Moral learnt:

Always take a ring from Mom when you're kicked out of home.

Even a piggy can turn one's fortune around.