The Hobbit: “My eyes are fully open…”

(Scene:  Bilbo has one and only one chance to get himself and the Dwarves out of the Elf-King’s fortress:  via the freight entrance to the river.  The Dwarves believe there’s madness to his method.)

Thorin: My eyes are fully open to our awkward situation,
But I must confess I view this plan with greatest trepidation.
I do recognize the need to get beyond the Elven fences
Yet to carry out your scheme could bring the direst consequences.
I don’t think I’m going overboard in speaking or emoting:
How do you propose to keep us all from faces-downward floating?
For my cell was damp enough, and I’m not keen to end up wetter;
Though conditions may be tough I feel convinced you can do better.
Balin: He’s convinced you can do better.
Bilbo: He’s convinced I can do better.
All (with appropriate pronouns): I’m/He’s convinced you/I can do better, better, better, better!

Balin: Although it may seem petulant or just a little whiny,
I am somewhat ill-at-ease at being cooped up somewhere tiny.
If it isn’t too unmannerly or uncouth or ungracious
I would like to requisition quarters just a tad more spacious.
While I don’t think you’d be finding us unduly claustrophobic,
I believe you need reminding we aren’t microbes anaerobic.
And I’m sure that if we make it, then to you we’ll be the debtor;
Still, I find I’m greatly wishing that you’d thought of something better.
Thorin: You should think of something better.
Bilbo: I should think of something better?!
All (with appropriate pronouns): You/I should think of something better, better, better, better!

Bilbo: I know my plan has facets which are frankly not terrific,
And I’ll gladly take suggestions if you have a few specific.
But their banquet’s nearly over, and we really should be going;
It would be a tragic waste if this one chance we end up blowing.
I perceive that opposition to my plan is gaining traction;
So I’m sorry if it doesn’t come up to your satisfaction.
Let me take you to your cells and put you back into your fetters,
And I’ll leave it up to you, to see if you do any better!
Thorin: But can we do any better?
Balin: But can we do any better?
All: But can you/we do any better, better, better, better, better?

Copyright 2013

(For those unfamiliar with the original Gilbert and Sullivan song from Ruddigore, here’s a link to one version….)


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