Court fool

The cat who wears the collar And bells that speak of serfdom In this household fools along the floor For our royal pleasure, toes the mark We set for him, supplies the joke And laughter to entertain the throne. We own this jester, call him By comic names, summon his presence When we as king and queen here Enter bored. The entertainer courts Our favor, small rewards of food, never Disdains the hands that rule Or reproach. We teach ourselves through him The role nobility imposes: kindliness And grace; and he teaches us in turn what We ignore: the proper role of fool. Nancy G. Westerfield

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