From Orient's breath, a tale of woe has sprung,
A garden fair, now vineyard of the glum.
The bond of ale is broke, the bell hath rung,
In house of Fortune the shares have all gone dumb.

The realm's largesse, once a pouring spout,
Now dwindles like the bitter dregs of mead.
Where trade flowed free, stout barriers now sprout,
And smaller kingdoms from the cups recede.

Oh, woes anew! Doth the tale repeat itself,
The golden river turneth into draught.
From Britain mild, to isles of silken wealth,
Free trade's alehouse, its doors now sadly rafed.

by Brother Arnulfus

a centaur