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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

home and away, and guess which one wins

thanks reusableart.com (PD)
I couldn't use this poem in my upcoming eBook - it didn't quite fit anywhere - but it's far too winsome and funny not to share.  The speaker is in either Australia or Tasmania, and not being a good sport.  
As the year draws to a close, I thought this was a great piece to reflect on where you are and where you'd like to be.  Make what friends you can with the first, and make plans for the second!  

Thou and I.
(From Stony Creek.)
THOU art in happy England,
With peace, content, and joy;
And there no poisonous reptiles
Thy comfort can destroy;
No hissing sound the startled ear
With fear of death awakes  -
Thou art in happy England,
I, in the land of snakes.

About thy household duties
Serenely thou canst go;
No fear of fierce tarantulas
Or scorpion brings thee woe;
And day by day flows calmly on,
And sleep wings through the night-
Thou art in happy England,
I, where mosquitoes bite.

Thou hast the trusty faithful dog,
The quiet harmless cat,
But I the fierce Tasmanian D ---, (Devil.  --curator)
Opposum, and wombat;
Familiar objects greet thy sight,
Here all is strange and new
Thou art in happy England,
I, with the kangaroo.

Thou hast the blithe canary,
The robin chirps to thee:
While here the magpies chatter,
And rail from every tree;
Bright parrots glint beneath the sun,
And shriek their hideous song
Thou art in happy England,
I, wattle-birds among.

Than canst recline in any place,
And watch the moments pass:
Here briars and prickles fill the clothes
While lying on the grass;
They stick into the flesh, and sting
Like gnat, or wasp, or bee -
But thou in happy England
From all such plagues art free.

Hurrah for happy England!
For all the folk at home!
From hill and dale resounds the cry
No matter where we roam.
Hare scenes of beauty greet the sight,
The balmy air is sweet;
But still I sigh for England,
Where thou and I shall meet.

J. A. LANGFORD : On Sea and Shore.  In Langbridge, Frederick, 1849-1922. Poets At Play: a Handbook of Humorous Recitations. Vol. 2. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1888. 122-123.  (PD in the US.)

1 comment:

parlance said...

Oh, what a find! I love this one. The other day I had two enormous spiders in my bedroom, and every day at present Penny comes in with spiky seeds in her coat. Plus, we're always on the lookout for snakes wherever we go.

But then I read about bears in North America, and about giant birds swooping down to steal away small dogs - I forget whose blog that was, maybe Scandinavia - and I realise there are 'dangers' all over the place.

That poet sure seems to have been homesick. I bet it wasn't all roses in England, lol. He's forgotten why he left in the first place!

Thanks for the great poem.