Ballad of the Emperor's New Clothes

An emperor there was who ruled over his land,

and beloved of all was he.

One blemish there was which tempered his fame,

and that was his vanity.

This showed most of all in the clothes that he wore,

he chose them all with great care.

The rarer the cloth, the finer the weave,

his ego provided the snare.

There came two rogues to his court one day

and told him an impious fib:

they could weave him a suit which could only be seen

by those who were fit for their job.

Oh, good thought the emperor and forthwith engaged

them to weave him a suitable suit

of magical cloth which would sort out his staff

in a way which none could refute.

The rascally pair then set up a loom

and produced some invisible thread,

all the while going through just the motions required

to bamboozle the emperor’s head.

When the emperor came later to look at their work,

he just couldn’t see a thing.

But he did not dare to own up to the truth

for the censure such candour would bring.

That he was not fit for an emperor’s job,

the thought was too galling to bear.

So he ordered new clothes for the next festive day

of magical cloth to wear.

He removed his attire at the rascals’ bequest,

and donned his new clothes for effect,

secure in the knowledge his people would see

what he could not himself detect.

As bare as the day on which he was born

the emperor processed on the way,

and none could dare tell the truth that he saw

no magical suit on display.

Till a childish voice in the crowd was heard,

(of guile in it there was none);

‘The emperor promised he’d wear his new clothes,

but look, he’s got nothing on!‘