Monday, 29 March 2010

Our secret cyder weapon

If the music of the Wurzels isn't enough to strike fear into the heart of our political masters then we may have to resort to a far more dreadful weapon. One to induce quaking terror in anyone appreciative of spare, austere, modernistic free verse, the sort of person who would never dream of taking pleasure in, say, a lovely knob of butter before pondering how sad it will all seem when they die.

Yes, we will roll out the big guns: the poetry of Thomas Hardy. Let's see how they cope with that, eh? My finger is poised over the Share button in my Facebook 'Thomas Hardy's Cyder Poem for, er, Poetry Uk No. 1 Campaign'. And as it's bound to be ripped off I may add 'The 100% Official' thing at the beginning. (By the way, join this one).

As you'd expect Hardy, having written about most things in his prolific career, found room for cider (or cyder as he calls it in, well, Hardyesque fashion). And he goes a long way to demonstrate the virtues of the drink - it actually makes him happy. It's up there with dancing and love. But I suppose you will already have guessed how he might conclude such a life-affirming poem...
Great Things

Sweet cyder is a great thing,
A great thing to me,
Spinning down to Weymouth town
By Ridgway thirstily,
And maid and mistress summoning
Who tend the hostelry:
O cyder is a great thing,
A great thing to me!

The dance it is a great thing,
A great thing to me,
With candles lit and partners fit
For night-long revelry;
And going home when day-dawning
Peeps pale upon the lea:
O dancing is a great thing,
A great thing to me!

Love is, yea, a great thing,
A great thing to me,
When, having drawn across the lawn
In darkness silently,
A figure flits like one a-wing
Out from the nearest tree:
O love is, yes, a great thing,
A great thing to me!

Will these be always great things,
Great things to me?...
Let it befall that One will call,
"Soul, I have need of thee":
What then? Joy-jaunts, impassioned flings,
Love, and its ecstasy,
Will always have been great things,
Great things to me!


Gadjo Dilo said...

I fear to venture that this was maybe not one of the great man's best. I was expecting the 4th verse to somehow better unify the first three:

Dieing is a great thing,
A great thing to me,
After a night of 20 pints
At our cyder hostelry,
A-driving whence I hit a fence -
My love on the passenger seat.
To death we are now dancing,
A grave thing for me!

worm said...


Gaw said...

Gadjo: The Hardy of the Carpathians...

Worm: Ha!