A SAD BALLADE
by Esperanza Halevi
The feasting's over; the banquet's done;
The trencher has taken its dreadful toll;
And stuffed to the gills is everyone,
From the heaping platter and flowing bowl...
The bodice is bulging - the surcoat's split -
The laces creaking will soon give way;
From all my wardrobe, there's nought will fit:
You can't stay thin in the S.C.A.!

The venison stew in its gravy brown,
The figgy pudding all yellow and red,
Will cost me another - and larger - gown;
Perhaps I should wear my tent instead!
But parsnip fritters I can't resist,
And to sweet blancmange I cannot say nay...
My lords and ladies I do insist:
You can't stay thin in the S.C.A.!

It takes but the tiniest sip of wine -
Just a drop of the hyppocras past my lips -
Or the smallest nibble of galantine -
To add five pounds to my burgeoning hips!
But there's course on course, and served so well,
And it's spread before us in lush array -
So I eat it all, feeling guilty as hell -
You can't stay thin in the S.C.A.!

L'Envoi
-------
Prince; though you're tops on the battlefield,
There's a higher law we must all obey;
To the kitchen tyrants you too, must yield -
You can't stay thin in the S.C.A.!