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The Groom of the Stool
(Two meditations on an ancient post: see below)
The Groom of the Stool needs some time
To commit his experience to rhyme.
This commodious peer
But thinks constipation sublime
See where the philosophic King
Sits Rodinesque upon his “throne”.
The patient Groom stands wondering
And draws conclusions of his own.
As often at such times as these,
He thinks of Plato, Locke and Kant
And their epistemologies —
And of his own ingenious slant:
“His Majesty – though no-one’s fool,
A veritable Marc Aurel –
Rises still wiser from his stool.
From which it’s possible to tell
That wisdom comes not only a priori,
But also, sometimes, a posteriori.”
Note: These two tasteless pieces were prompted by a colleague’s discovery of the post of “Groom of the Stool”.
This was a highly-placed courtier in 16th Century England, whose prestigious task it was – I regret to say, gentle reader – to wipe the King’s bottom, at least according to some sources:
We fell -- as one would -- to speculating about the philosophical and poetic potential of this post....
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