Friday, August 10, 2007

Robbie the Robber

Robbie the Robber, a burglar from Youghal
Broke into the basement of Uffingdon Hall.
With hoops on his sweatshirt and standard black mask,
Young Rob was appropriately dressed for the task.

Ascending the steps with a thin pocket light,
He heard an owl hooting deep into the night,
But inside the walls of great Uffingdon Hall,
He couldn’t detect any movement at all.

And so he proceeded in gathering gloom
To the oak-panelled door of the great sitting room,
And, as he stepped through it and clicked on the light,
His eyes were transfixed by the wonderful sight.

There were silver decanters, two hundred years old,
And handpainted vases, all inlaid with gold,
And paintings by Rubens and Pablo Picasso,
And great copper cauldrons all shined up with Brasso.

And coy figurines made of china and pewter
Surrounding the latest, most modern computer
And Victorian stools and Edwardian bureaus,
Obviously worth many thousands of euros.

Rob felt a quickening beat of his heart,
And wondered subconsciously where he should start.
From inside his jacket, he took out a bag
That he’d brought along for transporting the swag.

Scarcely concealing his giggles and sniggers,
Bold Robbie purloined all the porcelain figures.
Candlestick, snuff-box and cutlery tray
All disappeared in a similar way.

And when that great room had been stripped of its wealth,
Roberto moved on to the staircase with stealth,
And gazed at the portraits that covered the wall,
The former incumbents of Uffingdon Hall.

He took out a blade and removed the first Earl
[Along with his wife, a most vacuous girl]
And rolled up the parchment with deftness of hand,
Securing it tightly with one rubber band.

At this point, however, Rob’s fortune ran out.
Lord Uffingdon woke, agonised with the gout,
And decided the cure for his agony lay
In coming downstairs for a small Chardonnay.

Poor Rob heard the bedroom door open and shut
And heard the dull thump of Lord Uffingdon’s foot.
And with marvellous invention, immediately spied
The one perfect place for a burglar to hide.

He jumped in the space where the first Earl and wife
Had been captured in oils in the prime of their life.
Balancing motionless in the great frame,
Bold Robbie assumed first Lord Uffingdon’s name.

The gout-ridden Lord very slowly descended
The great curving staircase to where the steps ended.
He didn’t give Robbie a cursory glance,
Nor look at the occupied painting askance.

But all of a sudden, the frame gave a crack
And Rob was ejected down onto his back.
And, as he lay groaning and dazed and concussed,
Lord Uffingdon hit him with Tennyson’s bust.

The Gards, they were summonsed and came very quickly,
And one of them read Rob his rights rather thickly.
But they were quite taken aback when he claimed
That it was a set-up and he had been framed.

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