The times are mickle when fortune’s fickle,
and tricks and traps are ticklish,
and luck once quick’ll trim to trickle,
and cherry bowl turn picklish;

you’re chucked with junk on bottom bunk,
and jerks can peek and chuckle,
but are you sunk in deepest funk?
And will you bow and truckle?

Say, what’s that mean, that word I’ve seen,
that truckle just back there?
It’s treacle-sticky, crackle-tricky,
flickering in the air…

Oh, here: to wit, it means “submit,”
“lie on a truckle-bed,”
“be robbed of thunder,” “knuckle under,”
and “pully wheel,” I’ve read…

So here’s the feel: it’s from the wheel,
Greek trokhos (source of truck);
trokhileia fully means a pully,
but here’s the turn of luck:

if pully tugs across the rugs
a bed from ’neath a higher,
then truckle-bed is how it’s said,
and thence the sense entire:

the lower berth has lower worth
for folks of low position,
some child or maid or similar grade,
and so it means submission.

But while this place may seem quite base,
pride comes before a fall,
and though you grumble, a truckle tumble
will hardly hurt at all.

So here’s the clue on what to do
when luck has turned to go:
though you feel blue, you may get through
if you can just lie low.

One response to “truckle

  1. Just too damn clever, our boy James! But never just clever for clever’s sake, as delightfully demonstrated here. 🙂

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