(in the style of the kids TV show "Make a Wish")
by Ronald Bruce Meyer
26 August 2001

To tell the truth, and be concise,
There's no such thing as "artifyce."
Though artifice is how you say it,
With sleight and subterfuge you play it.
"Artificer," though you'll think me daft,
Is one who practices artifice craft.
Indeed, the artisan artifact ilk
Respectably made things, rather than bilk,
Or con, or dupe, or snare, or scheme about--
to them was to smile and beam about!

So now that we'll no longer mispronounce it,
Does anyone swear, or dare, renounce it?
Will falseness, tricks, finesse and art,
Or traps or stratagems depart?
Will forgery, cunning, fake and feint
Forever our honest relations taint?
Is artifice inevitable, double-dealings?
Must surreptitiousness rise to the ceilings?
Or can we contrivance countermand,
And repudiate artifice throughout the land?

Well... make a wish... it might come true.
It's all up to you. It's all up to you.

It's up to those who love to maneuver
With artifice, like J. Edgar Hoover,
To invent the threats to our existence,
Though, granted, this scam takes some persistence.
It was Hannibal Barca, while on the lam,
From Roman avengers, used this artifice sham:
He called ashore those Punic sailors,
Had them hang their sails as shades like tailors;
He plied them with wine 'til they slept, mouths agape,
Took their sails, stranding them, and made his escape!

As ruse and dodge and wile and ploy,
An artifice was used to conquer Troy.
In facile hands it comes with bravado

Merely corroborative detail,
intended to give artistic verisimilitude
to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
Said Pooh-Bah, in Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado.  

No one forgets the words of Scott
Who's read his "Marmion"... or not--

O what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!
--or the rejoinder by J.R. Pope.
But when we've practised quite a while,
How vastly we improve our style.
At artifice craft he was no dope!
You see? The lit'rature subtly proves
How usefully artifice morphs and moves!

But... make a wish... it might come true.
It's all up to you. It's all up to you.

Buncombe County in North Carolina lays claim,
To making bunk, claptrap and artifice the same.
It's nonsense and hogwash and rubbish and twaddle,
To think that "lite beer" is real brew in a bottle.
Diet foods and lite sauces are artificial deception,
Cheats, swindles and tasteless poseurs -- no exception.
And movies have never been artifice-free
They thrive on that phony baloney, you see.
People fall for films hook, line and sinker, I hear,
As they trap people's passions like fish in a weir.

Artifice made Vladimir Horowitz free;
He dodged the Soviets and crossed the sea.
He concertized broadly on many a stage.
His artifice served him to a famous old age.
So sometimes an artifice is a good thing,
And early artificers craftsmanship bring,
With skill and with flair, with assurance and grace
And no thought to imitate, copy, replace...
To take in a dupe was an artifice tool,
And to fake out the fool, that was ever the rule.
But you now know that artifice can be good or bad--
Just pay attention and you'll never be had!

Or... make a wish... it might come true.
It's all up to you. It's all up to you.

--Uptight, Late-Night, Stage Fright Ronald, The Duke of Doggerel

Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance doggerelist.