Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Fool's Prayer

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: 'O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!'

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
'Be merciful to me, a fool!'

- Edward Rowland Sill, 1868

I read this prayer on the novel "Gump & Co." by Winston Groom. With the last king of Nepal kicked out of the "Narayanhiti" Palace, I thought the poem made some sense. Anyway, the novel is a humorous sequel to the famous novel "Forrest Gump" by the same writer, which was even made into the movie "Forrest Gump" in 1994. The movie went on to become the biggest movie of that year as suggested by Oscars. I thought it was bit unfair to the movie "The Shawshank Redemption", released on the same year, which I believe is a must watch movie for anyone. Incidentally, the movie Shawshank Redemption currently ranks at number 2 in the IMDB top 250 movies of all times (right after the movie "The Godfather"). The Shawshank Redemption is an inspiring movie about friendship and hope, played by characters like Tim Robins and Morgan Freeman, in seemingly desperate times of life imprisonment in a notorious jail. I believe the concept of hope is applicable to anyone, anywhere.

Well we are drifting too much off topic here. Back to the Fool's Prayer. But then again, there's not much to talk about the fool; except perhaps that one should/could learn from their mistakes.

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