O Manticore, Romanticore,
Most cruel in ev’ry part!
Yet though thou art a barb’rous beast
I give to thee my heart.

Your pelt is rough and tawny fur –
A dreadful knotted hide
Still ‘neath that harsh and bristled fleece.
I sense a softer side.

Your roar is like a trumpet blast
Fit sound to shake safe walls,
And as your screech like ramshorn rings,
My heart to your voice falls.

Your eyes pry forth like carronades
Alight with yellow fire,
And still, their rolling fury speaks
To my most sweet desire.

Your claws are hooked to rip at me
Yet nothing cuts so deep
As labour lost in love that yet
Turns not your scarry cheek.

Your teeth are arrayed as a saw
And layered like a shark’s
But for a love as pure as ours,
I’ll gladly bear those marks.

Your scaly tail with poison drips,
Sure death to any maid.
Yet what is death for such as I?
In love, so un-afraid.

You loose your black-barbed spines at prey,
Soft flesh to tear apart.
Yet no flung barb could fly as fast
As Cupid’s, to my heart.

You breathe out rank and noxious fumes,
A thick and choking mist.
Yet, I, so choked with love for you,
Still beg that I be kissed.

O Manticore, Romanticore,
Most dear in ev’ry part!
I know thou art a barb’rous beast
And give to thee my heart.

Romanticore has, as far as I am aware, the dubious honour of being the only love poem ever written to a manticore. Feel free to describe me as “ground-breaking”.

Romanticore is written in ballad meter, and uses an awful lot of archaic phrasing/vocabulary. The poem is a triumph of slightly awkward style over substance.It was inspired by nothing more important than the realisation that “romantic” and “manticore” share six letters.

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