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One of my recent puzzles bears a certain resemblance to this one that was posted to meta by Alconja. When this was pointed out to me, I thought that since he asked for suggestions I would post a reply for his album, as any cunning devil would.

Please note that this is meant as a lighthearted tribute to a fine puzzler. The solution contains a misspelling due to a combination of words that was too apt for me to resist. The tick goes to the one who identifies the pattern in the poem.

In dreary prose or sprightly dancing rhyme
I'm trailing worthlessly, outshin'd each time.
My crumpled words I swirl, I lyricize.
"Can't parse!" They scold or chide or criticize.
I try but then the master, unsurpassed,
Arrives. Alconja's in the house - at last!

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    $\begingroup$ Well, there it is folks. The greatest piece of content this site will ever produce. Time to pack it all in and shut this baby down. :) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Sep 12 '16 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ I believe you were inspired by The songs of England and Scotland by Cunningham, Peter, 1816-1869. $\endgroup$ – Matsmath Sep 12 '16 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ ...and what good is a response without a response to the response? $\endgroup$ – Alconja Sep 12 '16 at 16:03
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Based on Gareth's response we find

a flower in each sentence.

a closer look at

the title "cheeky" reveals there are also some references to the human posterior

In dreary prose or sprightly dancing rhyme
I'm trailing worthlessly, outshin'd each time.
My crumpled words I swirl, I lyricize.
"Can't parse!" They scold or chide or criticize.
I try but then the master, unsurpassed,
Arrives. Alconja's in the house - at last!

HIND in line 2 also explains the usage of the apostrophe

Thanks to Gareth for the first part of the solution

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  • $\begingroup$ SEAT in the last line. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 12 '16 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ And if it's per-sentence rather than per-line, this explains why I couldn't find a flower on line two. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 12 '16 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ (While still getting an explanation for the apostrophe on that line.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 12 '16 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ Ran out of steam on the intro, but there is a bit of wordplay there as well. Congrats! $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Sep 12 '16 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ @HughMeyers Album? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Sep 12 '16 at 14:17
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I suspect there may be more going on than this, but: Each line

other than the second contains the name of a flower

as follows:

In dreary prose or sprightly dancing rhyme
I'm trailing worthlessly, outshin'd each time.
My crumpled words I swirl, I lyricize.
"Can't parse!" They scold or chide or criticize.
I try but then the master, unsurpassed,
Arrives. Alconja's in the house - at last!

The last line

has a misspelling (jasinth for jacinth) for obvious reasons.

But I am fairly clearly missing something

on the second line

which makes me suspect that what I have found might really all be red herrings.

I remark that we also have

anagrams of SWORD in line 3 and SPEAR in line 4 (the former even hinted at by "crumpled") -- and M Oehm notes in comments that there are such things as a SWORD LILY and a SPEAR ORCHID. But I don't see similar anagrammed qualifiers elsewhere yet.

There are also

SPORE in line 1 (though spores are for fungi rather than flowers) and STREAM in line 5 (though no obvious thematic relevance). But lots of words have anagrams so this is likely all coincidence.

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  • $\begingroup$ Note the apostrophe in the second line. $\endgroup$ – Matsmath Sep 12 '16 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ I did note it, and I did think "hmm, that makes it likely there's something interesting going on around there", but I am still failing to see anything. Stupid mental blind spot, I expexct. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 12 '16 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ Sword lilies (gladioles) and spear orchids are names of flowers, so there may well be more to it. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Sep 12 '16 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Ooooo, good catch. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 12 '16 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ Well, yes. But this is meant to be one-upping Alconja's earlier riddle, and Hugh is an extremely ingenious chap, so I strongly suspect there is further subtlety going on here. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 12 '16 at 13:40

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