“Cold Are The Crabs:”
The Humorous, Rueful Poems of Edward Lear, ESVM, And More
The Parallel Octave Chorus has resolved
to convene to record the poems of Edward Lear, ESVM, Oliver Goldsmith, Gelett Burgess, Ben Jonson, and Emily Dickinson
on the JHU campus, Mattin Center Room 105 (campus map here)
on Sunday, September 23rd,
Full text of poems, and links, pasted below:
Poems: (we will not record all of these, but will choose from them)
– Edward Lear, “Cold are the Crabs”
– Edward Lear, “Imitation of the Olden Poets”
– Edward Lear, “There Was A Young Lady Whose Nose…”
– Edward Lear, “There Was An Old Man Of New York…”
– Oliver Goldsmith, “When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly”
– Oliver Herford, “The Cow”
– Gelett Burgess, “The Purple Cow”
– Ben Jonson, “Hymn To The Belly”
– Emily Dickinson, “Wild Nights”
– ESVM, “Second Fig”
– ESVM, “Thursday”
Full text of poems follows.
Cold are the Crabs
Cold are the crabs that crawl on yonder hills,
Colder the cucumbers that grow beneath,
And colder still the brazen chops that wreathe
The tedious gloom of philosophic pills!
For when the tardy film of nectar fills
The simple bowls of demons and of men,
There lurks the feeble mouse, the homely hen,
And there the porcupine with all her quills.
Yet much remains – to weave a solemn strain
That lingering sadly – slowly dies away,
Daily departing with departing day
A pea-green gamut on a distant plain
When wily walrusses in congresses meet –
Such such is life –
Imitation of The Olden Poets (Edward Lear)
Time is a taper waning fast!
Use it, man, well whilst it doth last:
Lest burning downwards it consume away,
Before thou hast commenced the labour of the day.
Time is a pardon of a goodly soil!
Plenty shall crown thine honest toil:
But if uncultivated, rankest weeds
Shall choke the efforts of the rising seeds.
Time is a leasehold of uncertain date!
Granted to thee by everlasting fate.
Neglect not thou, ere thy short term expire,
To save thy soul from ever-burning fire.
There was a Young Lady whose nose… (Edward Lear)
There was a Young Lady whose nose,
Was so long that it reached to her toes;
So she hired an Old Lady,
Whose conduct was steady,
To carry that wonderful nose.
There was an Old Man of New York (Edward Lear)
THERE WAS AN OLD MAN OF NEW YORK,
WHO MURDERED HIMSELF WITH A FORK;
BUT NOBODY CRIED,
THOUGH HE VERY SOON DIED, —
FOR THAT SILLY OLD MAN OF NEW YORK.
When Lovely Woman Stoops to Folly (Oliver Goldsmith)
When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can sooth her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom—is to die.
THE COW (Oliver Herford (1863-1935))
The Cow is too well known, I fear,
To need an introduction here.
If She should vanish from earth’s face
It would be hard to fill her place;
For with the Cow would disappear
So much that everyone holds Dear.
Oh, think of all the Boots and Shoes,
Milk Punches, Gladstone Bags and Stews,
And Things too numerous to count,
Of which, my child, she is the Fount.
Let’s hope, at least, the Fount may last
Until our Generation’s past.
THE PURPLE COW (Gelett Burgess (1866-1951))
I Never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
HYMN TO THE BELLY (Ben Jonson (1572-1637))
Room! room! make room for the bouncing Belly,
First father of sauce and deviser of jelly;
Prime master of arts and the giver of wit,
That found out the excellent engine, the spit,
The plough and the flail, the mill and the hopper,
The hutch and the boulter, the furnace and copper,
The oven, the bavin, the mawkin, the peel,
The hearth and the range, the dog and the wheel.
He, he first invented the hogshead and tun,
The gimlet and vice too, and taught ’em to run;
And since, with the funnel and hippocras bag,
He’s made of himself that now he cries swag;
Which shows, though the pleasure be but of four inches,
Yet he is a weasel, the gullet that pinches
Of any delight, and not spares from his back
Whatever to make of the belly a sack.
Hail, hail, plump paunch! O the founder of taste,
For fresh meats or powdered, or pickle or paste!
Devourer of broiled, baked, roasted or sod!
And emptier of cups, be they even or odd!
All which have now made thee so wide i’ the waist,
As scarce with no pudding thou art to be laced;
But eating and drinking until thou dost nod,
Thou break’st all thy girdles and break’st forth a god.
WILD NIGHTS (Emily Dickinson (1830-1886))
Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Futile – the Winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor – Tonight –
Second Fig (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!
Thursday (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
And if I loved you Wednesday,
Well, what is that to you?
I do not love you Thursday—
So much is true.
And why you come complaining
Is more than I can see.
I loved you Wednesday,—yes—but what
Is that to me?