162. each new, each sailing, intermingled (cont.)

the judge considered, mouthing, mumbling,
found this one thing puzzling — 
why a king, with tools and titles,
should get stuck behind disguises

in the cross-examination
george the second told the story
which begins with duke westmoreland
selling cork to powers foreign

with, what, one becomes another,
soon the duke was selling butter,
beans, and sheep, and sails, and boats, and
finally began trading soldiers

george the second had this set of
gold and brass electroplated,
in the attic he would play with — 
then the duke gave them to louis

in exchange for fifteen warships,
a rope, a pail, a whole hog roasted — 
the ships were small, but they boasted
cannons that went POP! when loaded

well, was this now (wow) impressive,
he’d amassed a fake armada!
on inspection, the fine writing
said they’d all been made in china

privy potts advised him that
china toys are second-class,
which would have caused an incident,
if not the soldiers, made of tin

george and louis, both unhappy,
both are burdened with toys crappy — 
then to make the whole thing worse,
catherine the great invades dunkirk

rolls a full joke boat flotilla
across the channel, george surrenders
(england’s got no toys to play with — 
the china-boats just sank in station)

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