Monday, 21 May 2007

Next lines of poems

I’ve never liked poetry much. I find that anything which is not prose and doesn’t have a rhyme here and there, or go umty-tumpty-diddley-dum, somehow fails to grip, except for those poems which have some special significance for me, and most of these are not highly esteemed ones; as Amanda Prynne very nearly said, Extraordinary how potent cheap poetry is.

Many of the extracts below are from bagatelles: recitations, doggerel, mawkish ballads, trifling verse or just enjoyable tosh; the serious poems that are included are nearly all standard, over-familiar stuff. There is nothing here that is new or exciting, or which will hold the attention of lovers of poetry; most people will be able to guess where the words are taken from, even if they can’t remember the next line.

Everything quoted below has given me pleasure (if it had all been about real poetry I wouldn’t have bothered with typing it), so I make no apologies for the trivial nature of this exercise: you might, if you can put up with this sort of thing, try to recall the next line (the number of words required is in brackets), the name of the poem, and the name of the poet or poetaster (two are by Anon), and give yourself one point for each.

1 A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon (11)

2 Weave a circle round him thrice, and close your eyes with holy dread, (12)

3 Was none who would be foremost to lead such dire attack? (10)

4 All this the world well knows; yet none knows well (10)

5 But as it is . . . My language fails! (7)

6 "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all (10)

7 Full many a flower is born to blush unseen (8)

8 And thou, what needest with thy tribe’s black tents (8)

9 There was a young girl from Aberystwyth (9)

10 One short sleep past, we wake eternally (10)

11 They fill you with the faults they had (7)

12 I've a lover in the prison, doomed this very night to die (12)

13 Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace (10)

14 And the sweat is on thy brow, for he passes even now (9)

15 For the stronger we our houses do build (8)

16 We sat in the car park till twenty to one (9)

17 In the blithe and pleasant Spring-time (8)

18 Il n'y a beste ne oyseau, qu'en son jargon ne chante ou crie (13)

19 Did He smile His work to see? (8)

20 I sometimes think that never blows so red (8)

21 He took castles and towns; he cut short limbs and lives (9)

22 There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far (9)

23 ‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty and sold for endless rue

24 For Witherington needs must I wail, as one in doleful dumps (12)

25 But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks (9)



Rethabile said...

Great list. Number nine. It's about the only one I feel doesn't belong. I do hope you're doing as well I know you to do.

Tony said...

Why not, Rethabile? I made it clear that my choice covered anything that rhymes.
My guess is that you're peeved because you don't know the rest of the limerick. And I'm not going to tell you, so there.

You don't mention what your score was.

Froog said...

After much bonce-scratching, I did just about manage to dredge up from the depths of memory the next lines from Walter Scott, Housman, Blake, Betj, Larkin, Keats and Gray.

I recognised but could not complete the Donne, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Macaulay, and dear old Robert Service.

I'm disappointed I missed Belloc, MacGonagall, Fitzgerald and The Green Eye Of The Little Yellow God.

I do read a lot of poetry, and used to have quite a lot of it down by heart when I was younger. Getting a bit rusty now in my middle years, I fear.

I can't place the Aberystwyth limerick (but can I claim a point for guessing it would be 'anonymous'?), though I've a nasty feeling the last rhyme is going to be "knickers in a twist with".

Tony said...

It sounds as if you did brilliantly.

I never read poetry but I do get a great deal of pleasure writing verse.

As for Aberystwyth, I have many readers who would complain if I sullied the pages of OMF with such filth, so I have sent you the text in an email.

united organs said...

I daresay the Welsh have started pronouncing it '-wuth' just to confound our saucy fun with this one.