A prudent thief should never drink so much that he becomes bold.
Because a thief who boasts and brags will rarely live to grow old.
For silence is a thief’s best bet and if he breaks this etiquette.
Undoubtedly what he will get…will be more trouble than gold.
Consider Zhele a thief from Greel, who drank at the Swan and Grouse.
He made himself quite popular by buying rounds for the house.
One night in drunken revelry, he made a bet with prideful glee,
But later on he would agree…he never should’ve been soused.
A thief’s best friends are luck and speed, alertness, cunning and stealth.
And ale can cause these all to flee and cheat a thief of his wealth.
But add to this a drunken dare to steal a lock of the Empress’ hair,
Then even a fool should be aware…this may be bad for your health.
So Zhele did stumble through the door in his most fearless state.
He slipped in shadows past the guards and snuck through the palace gate.
Then giggling he scaled the wall so drunk he thought he could not fall.
For wasn’t he the best of all…and surely favored by Fate.
As he climbed in he saw a girl who was dressed in cloth not fur.
A palace maid? Perhaps a cook? T’was difficult to be sure.
A homely lass she did appear, but anyone looks good through beer,
So when she asked, “Why are you here?”…he said he was there for her.
He showered her with compliments for flattery was his skill.
And so they spent a pleasant time as any young couple will.
But as the dawn lit their embrace, he recognized the lady’s face
From every golden coin it graced…and suddenly he felt ill.
He’d heard that drink was dangerous and now he knew for a fact.
For thieves caught in the palace were hanged or stretched upon a rack.
But as this thief was kind and bold, the empress gifted him with gold.
(And the guards made sure that he’d been told…he’d be killed if he ever came back.)
And so he was a thief no more for that was part of the deal.
His bet was lost because she gave him what he went there to steal.
So other thieves may scorn and mock his name and tale but still they flock
For a drink and a look at the Empress’ Lock… the finest tavern in Greel.