The emperor put on his new clothes.
Not the ones that left him exposed.
These were made of cotton.
The finest wardrobe he’d gotten.
He summoned all of his court.
The guards and his escorts.
The ministers and the maids,
The generals of his brigades.
Last came the butler and cook.
Then he showed them all his book.
“Behold my great composition.”
Transcribed from my position.
An insight into my great mind.
In prose you will find refined.
A copy I have for each one,
to read under today’s sun.”
So they did the emperor’s heeding.
And spent the whole day reading.
And at the end of the day,
they returned to have their say.
“Tell me” the ruler inquired,
“Did you find my book inspired?”
“A masterpiece!” said the Earl,
“A jewel, a rare pearl!”
“Brilliant!” replied the prince.
“None better, now or since!”
On and on it went,
each giving praise and assent.
Until they came to an old man,
who held a pen in his hand.
“I am a teacher of literature,”
“and I must give this stricture.”
“The grammar and form is archaic,
the punctuation is prosaic.”
They pretend it is worth adoring.
The truth is it is rather boring.”
Then all gathered there were amazed,
as the emperor heaped on the man, praise.
“Behold a man that duly,
has stood up and spoken truly!”
“He sought not to favor, or please!
He spoke the facts with ease!”
For some time the emperor praised him.
And how position and rank hadn’t phased him.
How he was braver than the rest.
Then he had him put to death.
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