A sonnet is a dandy thing all dressed
In pomp and form and run-on lines and things—
Enough to make the weary take up wings.
Though this is but my third, I must confess,
Lifetimes ago I wrote with zing and zest
And sonnets then were little songs to sing
To fluttering breasts and nightingales— or slings
Against misfortune, kings, and other pests.
No poet’s court has ever sat assize
Sans sonnets quick and cleverly contrived.
Fair queen or country maid, though each its prize—
The sonnet’s virtue rests in parted thighs.
Finer roe has never graced a sturgeon
Nor caveat much mattered to a virgin.
Caveat is a warning or caution. Assize is a court or can be a judgement. Used here as “sat in judgement.” Sans is an English word stolen from the French about 700 years ago. Means “without.”