On Taking a Fly out of a Basin of Water

This post is a comment received on my doggerel poetry. Thanks to David for posting this!

If anyone reading knows who wrote it, please let me know!

I do like to see someone having fun with not-so-bad verse…!! And thank you for liking my own attampts to open English eyes to Ronsard.

Unable to provide poetry of my own, & being unable to think where to post the following on my own blog, I thought this ‘doggerel page might be a good place to share with you & others this neglected contribution to English literature… I found it in one of those marvellous weekly magazines which the 19th century seems thronged with: in this case a magazine I’d not previously heard of, The Gleaner – issue no.14, July 30 1823. I hope you might find it a fitting companion to your own enjoyable poetry in the doggerel form!

On Taking a Fly out of a Basin of Water

In yonder vase behold that drowning fly,
Its little feet how vainly does it ply;
Its cries I hear not, tho’ it loudly cries,
And gentle hearts can feel its agonies.

Poor helpless victim! and will no one save?
Will no one snatch thee from the threat’ning wave?
Is there no friendly hand – no helper nigh?
And must thou, little struggler, die?

Thou shalt not while this hand can set thee free,
Thou shalt not die, this hand shall rescue thee;
My finger’s tip shall prove a friendly shore,
There, trembler, all thy dangers now are o’er.

Wipe thy wet wings, and banish all thy fear,
Go join thy buzzing brothers in the air;
Away it flies, resumes its harmless play,
And sweetly gambols in the golden ray.

Best wishes – David

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The Boat (Doggerel)

I thought I’d do something light and fun. It’s been ages since I wrote doggerel (intentionally), so I thought, why not?

The Boat

I will ever enjoy to recall that fair day
‘Mid the birds and the bees we went out in a boat,
We pushed off from the shore with our anchors away
And the River Thames carried us far-off afloat;

How romantic the moment inspires me to shudder
Each sparkle on the sheen-like water as I rowed,
Pulling hard on my oar seeing you at the other,
Floating in a dream ‘neath Dunnings Bridge Street road;

And bobbing along to a dingaling dong
As the church in the graveyard its bell it did ring,
Gulls crowed overhead and the sparrows fled in song
Till the river we to Westminster did bring;

And just out of chance the Archbishop was there
On the banks of the Thames out in front of the Abbey,
So we asked him to wed us right then in a prayer
And the kind vicar agreed we two to marry;

Now its been forty years since we made our vows
And the old boat sank long moons ago,
But the birds and the bees are still flying in clouds
Though its winter right now and all’s covered with snow;

So hark you young lovers who down river go
To be wed by the bishop on river bank’s track,
The current is fast so be warned and know:
It’s nice going down but it’s hell all the way back!

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Pierre Auguste Renoir

A Letter to Albert

imagination-albert-einsteinA Letter to Albert

Dear Albert, your resolve was well disposed
To conquer knowledge thitherto divine,
By which prophetic insight you disclosed
Deep secrets that our science could not define;
For only relative extrapolation
Can reconcile with objectivity,
Conflicting views—to give an illustration,
How time can march and fly, yet be a sea;
For while the poet’s verse portrays in reverie
Envisioning existence’s transpose,
Time flows and flies and marches the most verily
As visualized in your numeric prose;
For General Relativity decrees,
Time’s wings beat to the flow of marching seas!

The Wedding (2 Sonnets)

Eros (Greek Cupid) and Anteros. Image: durango.net.mx

Eros (Greek Cupid) and Anteros.
Image: durango.net.mx

Wedding Invitation

I must confess my acumen is witless
To thwart the hex by which I am possessed,
To which these presents bear conclusive witness
By virtue of to whom they are addressed;
For though my want continues in delighting
To freely roam among the blooming flowers,
My will no longer finds the jaunt exciting,
My passion’s bent usurped by stronger powers;
For Anteros (the Greek) has worked injustice
And filled both she and I with like devotion,
And you alone, dear Cupid, my accomplice,
Can spite his dart and nullify the potion.
The wedding’s at the church beside the river,
Be sure to bring lead-arrows in your quiver!

Wedding Epilogue

Imagine, if you will, my situation,
Delivered by Anteros to the altar,
When prompted to assent the consecration
My spell-besotted tongue declined to falter!
Yet in that blessed moment of despair
A-heel of my I do’s reverberation,
Your leaden-arrow sped to my repair
And doused the flame of my infatuation.
Your second shot, dear Cupid, went askew,
And, missing my betrothed, it smote his reverence
Who, when my clarion Not! provoked ado,
Expressed his just approval of our severance:
My Son, he said, the devil has you fair,

But better damned in Hell than wed to her!

Catador

Drinking-bacchus by Guido Reni Image: wikipaintings.org

Drinking-bacchus by Guido Reni
Image: wikipaintings.org

Catador

The bottle, to the wine, is of small matter;
Can pewter not conserve as well as glass?
The wine will either disappoint or flatter,
Fine crystal makes cheap fare taste no less crass;
But when I pressed the rarest of my vinery
In your exquisite vessel to ferment,
My cup (befitting, gem-encrusted finery)
Brimmed acrimonious quaff to my lament!
For bitter is the cup served with deceit
When poured from cherished vessels of affection,
To penalize the heart’s naive conceit
And taint love’s sweet bouquet with rank deception.
By this, dear Catador, you are forewarned:
Keep fine reserves well-corked and unadorned!

Dragon

 

Image: facebook.com/dragons

Image: facebook.com/dragons

Dragon

A claw to gouge the craggy feldspar face,
A fang that’s meet to chew the brittlest flint,
A scale to thwart the cleaving cutlass trace,
Through sparks and brume your fiery eyes a-glint.
Behind hooked-claw, a jealous rage serrating,
Behind sharp-tooth a taste for mortal flesh,
Behind bronze scale a thrown-down gage awaiting,
In scathing eye a hungry look of death;
And looming on the threshold of your parlour,
Intent to raid and steal your hoarded treasure,
Two-score and ten of juicy men in armour,
To satisfy and stay your hunger’s pleasure;
For thirty-days you’ll dine on manly grub,
But where to put the bones—now there’s the rub!

Fashion

 

Gala-Evening by Carlos S. Tejada Image: wikipaintings.org

Gala-Evening by Carlos S. Tejada
Image: wikipaintings.org

Fashion

My passion I had tethered in disdain,
Denied for higher virtues to fulfill,
Denied I say, but to no greater gain,
Pressed to compel with such a blunted quill.
What folly I endorsed to my lament
Possessing such a rapier never drawn,
How worthless was that coin I never spent,
If not to virtue’s then my profit’s scorn!
But beauty did in you my blunder heal
And cause my stoic heart to brim with verse,
That sword—my quill—now keen with ardent zeal
To vanquish all things trite and dull and terse!
Neither for love nor vanity, but passion,
Your beauty, while it lasts, will be my fashion.

On The Bottom

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon vues de derrière Image: wikipaintings.org

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon vues de derrière
Image: wikipaintings.org

On The Bottom

My muse has reached the bottom and is resting
In contemplation of that lowly seat,
Which, when one’s legs are aching and protesting
Is happy to alleviate one’s feet;
Oh comely and alluring derriere,
You captivate the eye and fuse the muse,
Your symmetry will always cause a stir
Among the boys—a sight they can’t refuse!
Accommodating, fain and unobtrusive,
Though partial to the putting on of airs,
For some upon occasion too protrusive
And over-enamoured of comfy chairs.
And while it’s true you’ll always cause a hum,
Still, wouldn’t life be sad without the bum!