Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fulfillment of a nearly forgotten promise: The Gentryman's Tale

When I changed the name of this blog from Gregology to The Gentryman's Tale, I mentioned a Canterbury Tale that I had written by the same name with the promise that one day I would post it here for your reading pleasure.  Today that promise is fulfilled in your midst.  I give you The Gentryman's Tale, written by me in the Spring of 1993.


In a far away place, not in distnace, but time
in a town called East Stroudsburg -well know for this rhyme-
In a structure called High School, where knowledge was bred
where they fought not with guns but their minds were instead
used to build up good morals and give students a guide
through a world filled with horrors on which none had relied,
studied a young student (among more in his class)
who chose not to work until the last
moment he had to spare for his work.
And this my good friends was his most hated quirk.
Others of these he had quite a few
but this one's among the highest of two.
The other strong vice which he hid in his mind
was a self-centeredness no one took to real kind.
But of this last vice I'll no longer speak
For he hid it quite well and twas balanced by peaks
of talents and ability of which few do share-
his voice was outstanding -but he took of it no care-
he sang with a heart matched by no other man
but was robbed out of Districts for twas not in the plan.
His feet brought him places of two extremes -
made him dance with great grace and make the football team.
He wrote poems and sonnets that caused women to melt
and could act on a stage better than most, he felt.
His looks were impeccable, or so he was told-
And if he was not, he knew and was bold.
His grades were top notch, had no job to be paid
which was just as well so honor role he always made.
Of his persona enough has been told,
so back to my tale before I'm too old.
A senior he ranked, in his twelfth year,
but ne'er in his schooling did his potential come fully clear.
He passed every class save for one in 8th grade
but ne'er was he pushed by himself nor his aides
to his fullest potential where all wish'd he would go
but lacked self motivation so his conscience said, "no."
His classes were fundamental with the exception of three
for two dealt with music and one, psychology.
But these are not where his vice had shown through
but twas in English it made its debut.
Since childhood he put off this day for the next
and never once learned for even now he is vexed.
A project was due in a group to be done.
A video for Canterbury of the choices was one.
So he made up a group of 5-6 friends
to produce a good show and meet all its ends.
The project, in passing, was brought up time again
but no plans were made not even where to begin.
So our student went on, (let's call him, "Craig")
and followed his routine which for weeks had him dredged.
Every night on the stage if not there, the chorus room
he and others sang, danced, to perfect the performance boom.
But his project could wait at least, so he thought,
until the last week arrived and no time could be bought.
So plans then were made for the weekend ahead
to produce a video that would keep him his head.
But on the very next day much to his surprise
came a long distance call which would seal his demise.
"Hello!" said the voice, light and so full of cheer,
"Come quick to Virginia. It's your grandparents 50th year!"
So Craig came to school to explain to his group
of his situation and departure from the troop.
They were disappointed but they understood,
for these were his friends, and his friends, they were good.
So off to Virginia Craig went with no plan
to save 200 points and his quarter grade if he can.
He thought of it little until he got home
where the thought raided his senses like fermented cologne.
He said to himself, "Oh what shall I do?
my procrastination has now done me through!"
To class the next day Craig took his excuse
and apologized for his 'put off' attitude.
Mr. Catrillo (his teacher) with a heart big as life,
a calm disposition, and impregnated wife,
gave him a chance to redeem his grade
if only his own tale could be made.
One with moral setting to be told once and again,
to teach others something, to keep them from pain.
So Craig took his chance -although not with great speed,
still put off a bit, but he finished this deed.
He wrote a tale of himself and his horrible vice.
Catrillo loved it so much that he read at least twice.
So Craig learned his lesson in a valuable way:
Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today.

- Gregory Rather Gentry  1993


Anonymous said...

The very same year, my assignment was to create my own level of Dante's inferno, for my High School English class.

I created a level for procrastinators, "of whom I was chief." I have no recollection of the punishment I chose...but it was surely something mild (in self-interest, of course).

Greg said...

Hehe, nice dude. The very same year, and the same vice... You sure we aren't related? Or sharing a brain or something?