Wednesday, 25 June 2008

From Hilaire Belloc



Lady Thinker has passed me a book meme post, for fun - to choose a book from my shelf and quote a passage from p123...

Lady T, it has taken me ages, on and off, exploring my page 123's. I could find nothing really interesting on any of them! Most of the good bits were on the other pages, oddly enough.

What I would have liked to do would be to type out a paragraph from PG Wodehouse. Any one of his p123's might have been great I'm sure! I love his writing, so finely crafted and so so funny - laugh out loud, chuckle chuckle stuff.

Unfortunately, I have none of his books here at home - because my parents have a complete set and I always read them when I stay at their place.

(No realistically I collapse at their place)

OK, so in the absence of PG, I found Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Verses (for children) roosting in one of the kids' rooms -

From: About John - Who lost a fortune by Throwing Stones

...As time went on declining Health
Transmogrified this Man of Wealth;
And it was excellently clear
That Uncle Bill's demise was near.

At last his sole idea of fun
Was sitting snoozling in the sun
So once, when he would
Take the air,
They wheeled him in his
Patent chair

(By "They", I mean his Nurse, who came
From Dorchester upon the Thame:
Miss Charming was the Nurse's name.)
To where beside a little wood
A long abandoned green-house stood,
And there he sank into a doze
Of senile and inept repose.

But not for long his drowsy ease!
A stone came whizzing through the trees,
And caught him smartly in the eye.
He woke with an appalling cry,
And shrieked in agonising tones:
"Oh Lord! Whoever's throwing stones!"

Miss Charming,
who was standing near,
Said: "That was
Master John, I fear!"

"Go get my Ink-Pot and my Quill,
My Blotter and my Famous Will."
Miss Charming flew as though on wings
To fetch these necessary things,
And Uncle William ran his pen
Through "well-beloved John", and then
Proceeded, in the place of same,
To substitute Miss Charming's name:

Who now resides in Portman Square
and is accepted everywhere.


Hmm, perfect verse I think!

12 comments:

Sandi McBride said...

OMG I'm falling down laughing as this is exactly the type poetry I loved as a child!!! Now I have to go find this self same book so that I might read it from cover to cover lol
Sandi

lady thinker said...

Thank you - this is far better than just a sentence from a page 123 ...

Maggie May said...

Brilliant!

merry weather said...

My computer is running so slowly it's driving me crazy!

I hope you're feeling better Sandi? Light-hearted is good for me :)

I'm glad Lady T! I was nervous of another handbagging -

Hi Maggie, come over soon, when I've wound up some speed!

Mean Mom said...

I really don't mean to be rude, but how can a sentence from a page 123 ever be interesting? I've puzzled over this once, before. You've just reminded me that I was given this meme a long time ago and I never did do it.

The poem is great. I've never read it before. Was Miss Charming telling the truth, then??

merry weather said...

Charming women, as other women know, are ruthless beasts sometimes hey... Sorry not to get back to you earlier Mean Mom, my internet connection is terrible!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I have an award for you at my place.

merry weather said...

Cheers MOB! I have nailed up the funny lady one - it'll remind me of you!

Mean Mom said...

There are awards going at my place, when you have a minute to spare.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

This is just perfectly funny and so clever. I love poetry like this - it appeals to the child in me!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh congratulations on the job. I had a chuckle at your somersault over the rockery! Sounds like me. I hope you are going to keep us entertained by your gardening activities as you are a great read.
All the best and get some knee pads!

merry weather said...

I'm very fond of my inner child too MOB. She's often much smarter than me - Thanks for your lovely remarks!

And thanks to you too Mean Mum, the parrots are settling nicely into my sidebar below the children, warbling sweetly. Shame I can't say the same about the boys...