TERENCE THIS IS STUPID STUFF A E HOUSEMAN

I.“Terence, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
to see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, ’tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.”

II. “Why, if ’tis dancing you would be,
There’s brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world’s not.
And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past:
The mischief is that ’twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half-way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then to world seemed none so bad,
And myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.

III. “Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill ,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure,
I’d face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
‘Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale
Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour,
The better for the embittered hour;
It should do good to heart and head
When your soul is in my soul’s stead;
And I will friend you, if I may,
In the dark and cloudy day.

IV. “There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up;
They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
–I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.”

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About kevinmorris101

I live and work in London and blog as a hobby. If you would like to contact me please send an email to animalia at shiftmail.com (the address is rendered in this manner in order to try and defeat spammers)!
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2 Responses to TERENCE THIS IS STUPID STUFF A E HOUSEMAN

  1. Valda.DeDieu says:

    Ha-Ha, Kevin, we learned “Terrence This is Stupid Stuff” at school! Thanks for reminding me….Do you know this one?

    “I remember, I remember
    The house where I was born
    The little window where the sun
    Came peeping in at morn
    He never came a wink too soon
    Nor brought too long a day
    But now, how I wish the night
    had borne my breath away….”

    Or this:

    “I was angry with my friend
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end
    I was angry with my foe
    I told it not; my wrath did grow
    And I watered it in tears
    Night and morning, with my fears
    And I sunned it with my smiles
    And with soft, deceitful wiles.”

    Or this?

    “I’m a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog and lone–
    I’m a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own
    I’m a mad dog, a bad dog, teasing silly sheep
    I love to sit and bay the moon to keep fat souls from sleep….”

    Love the blog, Kevin. Keep it up! I may not always post, but I am always looking!

    Love,

    Valda

    http://goo.gl/8O7nX

    • Many thanks for your comment Valda. I think the first poem is one by Thomas Hood while the second one is William Blake. As for the third I recollect coming across it previously, however I have no idea who wrote it.

      Thanks again for your comments. Best Kevin

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