On Lear’s Rebus (again)

Hayley Gold (@hayleyrabbit) – a sample of her artwork is here above while her books are available here – and I are unconvinced  by the seller’s interpretation of the Edward Lear rebus I posted some time ago and have been trying to find a different solution for some time, but without great success. I am therefore reposting it asking for my readers’ help, if they are any better than I am at this sort of thing.

The fact is the sentence resulting from the gallerist’s interpretation does not make much sense, or it is too contorted for what it purports to say; anyway, here is the current solution explained to the best of our understanding:

Bull’s eye = “I”
Pile of wood = “would”
Bee = “be”
Haystack = “a”.  This one is frankly unconvincing, what is the ladder doing there, such a complex word for an article? [perhaps only “hay” with wrong aitch, that Lear found so oppressing].
Grate = “great”
R R (2Rs) = “arse”. Not likely, Lear, I think, would have drawn an ass.
Inn = “in”
Manuscript = “writing”
Shoe + D = “should”
Eye = “I”
Knot = “not” [couldn’t it be a Ribbon?]
Hat = “at-” [see note on “hay” above + Taking aim = “aim” + T = “attempt” [?!]
2 = “to”
People Fording a stream = “afford” [where does “af-” come from? “a ford” I suppose]
Hook to Catch fish = “catch”
The = “the”
Muse = “Muse”.

Which makes it “I would be a great arse in writing should I not attempt to afford to catch the Muse.”

Are there any experts in rebuses out there that can help us find a better solution? Please let us know.

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