Wednesday, October 3, 2007

For some obscure reason long forgotten:

I, Zara Penney, do solemnly swear that from this time last week I shall thirteen, Thursday and diligent be:

So direct from Coward's Castle comes this delightful piece of wit, written by one of my favorite people Jonathan Swift, who also happened to be a personal friend of one of my ancestors...

Twelve Articles (wait - patience is a virtue)


1. Lest itmay more quarrels breed
I will never hear you read.

2. By disputing I willnever
To convince you, once endeavour

3. When a paradox you stick to,
I will never contradict you.

4. When I talk, and you are heedless,
I will show no anger needless

5. When your speeches are absurd,
I will ne'er object one word.

6. When you furious argue wrong,
I will grieve and hold my tong.

7. Not a jest, or humorous story,
Will I ever tell before ye:
To be chidden for explaining
When you quite mistake the meaning.

8. Never more will I suppose
You can taste my verse or prose;

9. You no more at me shall fret,
While I teach, and you forget;

10. You shall never hear me thunder
When you blunder on, and blunder.

11. Show your poverty of spirit,
And in dress place all your merit;
Give yourself ten thousand airs.
That with me shall break no squares.

12. Never will I give advice
Till you please to ask me thrice;
Which, if you scorn reject,
'T'will be just as I expect.

Thus we both shall have our ends
And continue special friends.

13. With such sage opinions
I will try hard with my minions
To adhere to all these things,
And to the happiness I expect it brings.

The 13th was me adding on to the man who has reached out to me from the centuries. He died in 1745 after having been born in 1667.

(bear in mind that in french minions is darling - but it does rhyme.)

7 comments:

Gina Ardito said...

Best I could come up with is, "There once was a girl from Nantucket..." Never mind! Thanks for jumping in to TT, Zara!

DDMills said...

I'm awful with these type of things, but I especially liked #5...I've heard my share of many absurd speeches.

Ellie Heller said...

Yes, the ever popular:

Sometimes it is better to nod and smile than to argue a small point.

Chumplet said...

Those are all sweet little snippets.

Zee said...

I especially need to emboss that thrice/advice couplet onto a velveteen pillow -- for my mother. What is it with mothers? I've gone the other way and zipped my lip long ago. Once I did venture to ask, as my mother paused for a longawaited breath, "Did I ask for advice?" Oh, that was not a particularly saliant interjection on my part... no, no. I should have heeded the other lines wherein I keep my big mouth shut. Always a problem when dealing with my mother. Well. We live and learn. I am using "A Modest Proposal" for my lit class. We shall see.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Oh these are BEAUTIFUL! I enjoyed them. Jonathan Swift was required reading by my father. As was Mark Twain, Gerald Manley Hopkins and "Paradise Lost".
I love these.

Zara Penney said...

I never "required" to be read with Swift. I would love a dollar for every time I read CULLIVER'S TRAVELS

Another beloved writer in my childhood was FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT