On This Day....The All Souls Mallard Song
Supposedly, in 1437 when All Souls College in Oxford was being built, a mallard had become trapped in a drain, the mallard was of such 'swapping' size (striking / magnificent) that the good fellows made up a song about it and instituted an annual duck hunt complete with a Lord Mallard carrying a dead duck hung from a pole. The whole thing sounds as if Terry Pratchett (in the photo) made it up for one of the Discworld novels.
The Griffine, Bustard, Turkey & Capon
Lett other hungry Mortalls gape on
And on theire bones with Stomacks fall hard,
But lett All Souls' Men have ye Mallard.
Hough the bloud of King Edward,
By ye bloud of King Edward,
It was a swapping, swapping mallard!
Some storys strange are told I trow
By Baker, Holinshead & Stow
Of Cocks & Bulls, & other queire things
That happen'd in ye Reignes of theire Kings.
The Romans once admir'd a gander
More than they did theire best Commander,
Because hee saved, if some don't foolle us,
The place named from ye Scull of Tolus.
The Poets fain'd Jove turn'd a Swan,
But lett them prove it if they can.
To mak't appeare it's not att all hard:
Hee was a swapping, swapping mallard.
Hee was swapping all from bill to eye,
Hee was swapping all from wing to thigh;
His swapping tool of generation
Oute swapped all ye wingged Nation.
Then lett us drink and dance a Galliard
in ye Remembrance of ye Mallard,
And as ye Mallard doth in Poole,
Lett's dabble, dive & duck in Boule.