Quoth the Raven

Garrison Keillor

By Garrison Keillor

Published April 19, 2016

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I studied social theory,
The basis of positivism, the why and the wherefore---
While I sat there, quietly reading, suddenly there came a beating,
And the sound of someone pounding, pounding at my chamber door.
"A shutter has come loose," I muttered, "and it's banging on my door --- Only this and nothing more."

Back to my theory turning, I read about man's yearning,
For the common good, prosperity, a rational end to war
And then again I heard a screech as of a giant bird,
It sounded like a raven tapping at my door
And I rose up from my chair and walked barefoot cross the floor;
"'Tis the wind," I muttered, "and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, as smooth as melted butter,
In there stepped a stately Raven, so elegant and plump,
And he entered my library, with an attitude so airy,
As he sat down in a chair he had pulled up there, kerwhump ---
Quoth the Raven, "Donald Trump."

At this word, I sat there grinning and my head it started spinning,
As the Raven with his right wing slapped his slim and feathery rump
In a suit and tie was wrapped, and his front teeth nicely capped,
And atop his head a wig, peroxide, swooping in a clump ---
Quoth the Raven, "Donald Trump."

And I watched this ugly fowl sit and stare at me and scowl
And he hissed at me, "The country's in a very serious slump
And you cannot help agreeing that America is seeing
No ordinary being who can lift us from the dump,
No ordinary candidate campaigning on the stump
Except one named 'Donald Trump.' "

"Prophet!" said I, "you speak evil! --- I would rather a boll weevil
Should be president than some wealthy aged grump
And his followers as a group it seems to me are rather stupid
As they yell and whoop it up for this aging clueless chump
Who is simply plainly dumb - he is no Forrest Gump."
Quoth the Raven, "Donald Trump."

"Be that word a word of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, while farting ---
"Get thee back into the cellar and the dark and dripping sump,
That lie that you have spoken, once I thought that you were jokin'
But the Republic would be broken if it hit that big a bump."

Then my face broke out in sweat and my heart to wildly pump,
"Take thy beak from out my heart, and go take a flying jump. "
Quoth the Raven, "Donald Trump."

I said, "Just let me mention, that in July the convention
Will start to pay attention and the delegates on the floor
Will sensibly decide on someone who is qualified
Who will unite and not divide and throw Donald out the door,
Into oblivion, and decorum be restored
And politics shall be dignified as it was before."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!"

I said, "Thou ugly Raven, trouble me no more.
Take thy wretched beak and remove it from my door.
Trump only triumphed because the field was crowded.
And he was entertaining and he bullied the press corps
But by January trashiness and ignorance will be routed
And civil discourse will be back in style," I shouted.
Quoth the Raven, "I doubt it."

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Keillor is the host of "A Prairie Home Companion."