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  • mistermuse 12:01 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , humorous verse, , , Irish curses, , petulance, , , , savoir faire,   


    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    May the devil write your obituary in weasel’s piss. –old Irish curse

    Hold on — how did that get there? Either the devil made me do it, or me computer is up to no good (which wouldn’t be the first time). To be sure, me fine lads and lassies, this post is about curses in verses, but a curse alone does not a poem make. As for that derelict curse above, there are no weasels in Ireland unless you count the sloat (which is often mistaken for a weasel) or the lowly human (which often acts like a weasel, but technically is not).

    Be that as it may, I haven’t got all (St. Patrick’s) day, so let’s get on with it. Here is a cultivated selection of VERSES WITH CURSES which, not least among its Hibernian virtues, could serve to show America’s petulant President how to insult his inferiors with a bit more savoir fairy (class, in plain English) than is typical in his limited vocabulary:

    THE CURSE by John Millington Synge

    Lord, confound this surly sister,
    Blight her brow with blotch and blister,
    Cramp her larynx, lung, and liver,
    In her guts a galling give her.

    Let her live to earn her dinners
    In Mountjoy with seedy sinners:
    Lord, this judgment quickly bring,
    And I’m your servant, J. M. Synge.

    from THE CURSE OF DONERAILE by Patrick O’Kelly

    Alas! how dismal is my tale,
    I lost my watch in Doneraile.
    My Dublin watch, my chain and seal,
    Pilfered at once in Doneraile.
    May Fire and Brimstone never fail,
    To fall in showers on Doneraile.
    May all the leading fiends assail
    The thieving town of Doneraile,
    As lightnings flash across the vale,
    So down to Hell with Doneraile.
    The fate of Pompey at Pharsale,
    Be that the curse of Doneraile.
    May beef, or mutton, lamb or veal
    Be never found in Doneraile,
    But garlic soup and scurvy kale
    Be still the food of Doneraile.
    And forward as the creeping snail,
    Th’ industry be, of Doneraile.
    May ev’ry churn and milking pail
    Fall dry to staves in Doneraile.
    May cold and hunger still congeal
    The stagnant blood of Doneraile.
    May ev’ry hour new woes reveal
    That Hell reserves for Doneraile.
    May ev’ry chosen ill prevail
    O’er all the imps of Doneraile.
    May not one prayer or wish avail
    To sooth the woes of Doneraile.
    May the Inquisition straight impale
    The rapparees of Doneraile.
    May curse of Sodom now prevail
    And sink to ashes Doneraile.
    May Charon’s Boat triumphant sail
    Completely manned from Doneraile.
    Oh! may my couplets never fail
    To find new curse for Doneraile.
    And may grim Pluto’s inner jail
    Forever groan with Doneraile.

    RIGHTEOUS ANGER by James Stephens

    The lanky hank of a she over there
    Nearly killed me for asking the loan of a glass of beer:
    May the devil grip the whey-faced slut by the hair,
    And beat bad manners out of her skin for a year.

    That parboiled imp, with the hardest jaw you will see
    On virtue’s path, and a voice that would rasp the dead,
    Came roaring and raging the minute she looked on me,
    And threw me out of the house on the back of my head!

    If I asked her master, he’d give me a cask a day;
    But she, with the beer at hand, not a gill would arrange!
    May she marry a ghost and bear him a kitten, and may
    The High King of Glory permit her to get the mange.

    THE CURSE OF NOT BEING IRISH by mister O’muse

    And so we can see, Donald T.,
    What the problem may well be:
    In your entire immigrant ancestry,
    Of Irish blood, you’re entirely free.

    But on St. Patrick’s Day, luckily,
    Every man is an Irishman, glory be!
    So depart for today from your family tree,
    Uproot this curse, branch out, and be free!

    From ass act to class act, verily
    This very day, you can transformed be….
    Therefore, by virtue of the Irish in me,
    I dub thee, please God, President Donald O’T.


    • The Whitechapel Whelk 12:40 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Happy St Pat’s! May you be in Heaven before The Devil finds out you’re dead.

      Liked by 3 people

    • pendantry 4:54 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I have no verse for you, but I do have a riddle:
      What’s the difference between a stoat and a weasel?

      (One’s weaselly recognised, the other is stoatally different). Ha Ha.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Garfield Hug 5:46 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      🍀🍀🍀Happy St Pat’s Day🍻🍀🍀🍀😄

      Liked by 2 people

    • GP Cox 8:11 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 8:24 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      From one person with the Irish in ‘er to another – Happy St. Paddy’s Day! (oh, and the ditty for the Donald O.T is a good ‘un)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa R. Palmer 8:33 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Lol!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

      May the green you wear
      reflect the green you bear
      as good fortune follows you ev’rywhere!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:28 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply



      • Carmen 12:41 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Would mister muse be muted ?? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 3:26 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink

          Carmen, I’m no longer muted — for some mysterious reason, I am suddenly able to log in again, after not being able to do so since yesterday afternoon (I had pre-written the post before the problem, but had to use my daughter’s computer to publish it). They say time heals all things, but this is the first time I heard of time fixing a computer problem. I’m thinking St. Patrick must have interceded with the computer gods on my behalf. 🙂


        • Carmen 4:10 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink

          This same thing happened to another blogger friend of mine just the other day — it’s WordPress gremlins, I believe! Glad St. Patrick interceded. . . 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 3:39 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, today everyone in New York City is Irish and wearin’ the green. So here’s my toast to you.

      “May your glass ever be, full. May the roof over your head ever, be strong.
      And may we both be in heaven for a half an hour before the Devil knows we’re dead.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:21 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry for the delayed reply, Don. Somehow I overlooked your comment — I must have had a few too many glasses of Stout at the time.


    • arekhill1 3:58 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Will the Savoir Fairy join the leprechaun and the banshee as Irish legends, Sr. Muse? I sincerely hope so.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:31 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Only on St. Patrick’s Day, Ricardo. I’d hate to think of the French losing their Savoir Fairy all the other days of the year.


    • Positively Alyssa 10:20 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! I hope you have a great evening! I wanted to thank you for liking my post about Forgiveness! I appreciate you reading and I hope you will like more of my posts! I look forward to reading more of yours and hope the rest of your weekend is wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

    • markscheel1 4:22 pm on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply


      I thought I knew poetry, but I’d never run across these! LOL I’ll have to share with my Irish journalist friend, A. J. Nevertheless, I don’t think they’d work for our current POTUS! Wouldn’t fit on a tweet.
      BTW–a friend recommended and lent me a video of the classic ballet film The Red Shoes. Really enjoyed it and thought of you and your love of “the oldies.” Bet you could write something great on that, if you haven’t already! 😉


      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:40 pm on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Mark, the only way you could’ve come across the last poem was if you had read my puckish Irish mind, as I just wrote it the day before I published this post. BTW, your Irish journalist friend will no doubt recognize the name of the first poem’s author, John Millington Synge, of PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD fame.

        I’ll have to pass on The Red Shoes, as I’m not into ballet, though I understand it’s a great film.


    • The Coastal Crone 2:15 pm on March 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for choosing to follow my humble blog! I have enjoyed exploring yours and reading your poem’s for St. Patrick’s Day. Now I know what Donald T’s problem is!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:17 pm on March 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      My pleasure, Jo Nell. As for Donald T’s problem, I have to admit it goes far beyond not being Irish, but just for St. Patrick’s Day, I put me Irish blinders on and let it go at that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • RMW 6:30 pm on March 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, a rhyming president.
      If only he was resident!

      That’s all I have…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:18 am on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        RMW, if you mean resident someplace other than the White House, I am not hesitant — I mean ‘hesident’ — to agree.


    • Silver Screenings 1:55 pm on March 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Whoa! Some pretty grim stuff here, especially the tirade against Doneraile. I’d sure hate to be a resident of that town…!

      Liked by 1 person

    • kutukamus 7:20 am on March 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Much enjoyed about this very Mr. T
      Wreaking havoc on everybody 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 1:38 am on October 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Alas, no Irish, Drumpf is German
      And begorrah, also vermin


      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , humorous verse, James Jones, John Steinbeck, , , , , , , Willa Cather, ,   


    How much time and thought do you devote to coming up with just-the-right title for your story, poem or article? If you take writing seriously, the answer is probably: as long as it takes to nail it — which could be almost no time at all, if it comes to you in a flash — or, more time than a less intense writer is willing to allot.

    Ernest Hemingway, for one, evidently wasn’t the latter type. Case in point: in writing his definitive Spanish Civil War novel, he didn’t settle for less than a killer title that would encapsulate ‘the moral of the story,’ eventually finding it in this passage from a 1624 work by the poet John Donne: “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

    As a writer of (mostly) humorous poems and posts, I’m inclined to go for witty and/or wordplay titles. Many times, the title to a particular piece all but suggests itself, but more often, no such luck, and I’m stuck — until eventually (as with the title of this post) a eureka moment rewards my resolve….or a poem resists my labeling efforts, and I just settle for:


    This poem’s title is Untitled —
    Not because it is untitled,
    But because I am entitled
    To entitle it Untitled.

    If I’d not titled it Untitled,
    It would truly be untitled….
    Which would make it unentitled
    To the title of Untitled.

    So it is vital, if untitled,
    Not to title it Untitled,
    And to leave that title idled,
    As a title is entitled.

    Moving on, suppose we try a title quiz based on the Papa Hemingway model (sorry, those of you who’d prefer the mistermuse model). Here are five passages from classic original works from which later authors lifted titles for their novels. Can you name the five later works and pin each tale on its author (ten answers total)? If you name all ten correctly, you win the title (with apologies to Cervantes) of Donkeyote Of All You Survey.


    Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree/Damned from here to Eternity/God ha’ mercy on such as we/Ba! Yah! Bah! –Rudyard Kipling

    The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley/An’ lea’e us naught but grief an’ pain/For promised joy! –Robert Burns

    By the pricking of my thumbs,/Something wicked this way comes. –Wm. Shakespeare

    Come my tan-faced children/Follow well in order, get your weapons ready/Have you your pistols? Have you your sharp-edged axes?/Pioneers! O pioneers! –Walt Whitman

    No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr’d,/Nor is Paul’s Church more safe than Paul’s Churchyard./Nay, fly to altars; there they’ll talk you dead/For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. –Alexander Pope


    OF MICE AND MEN –John Steinbeck
    O PIONEERS! –Willa Cather

    How many of the ten titles/authors did you get? That last title, parenthetically, became part of Johnny Mercer’s lyrics to this 1940 hit song composed by Rube Bloom:

    And now I fear I must tread on out….before something wicked this way comes.


    • Cynthia Jobin 10:29 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If there were an award entitled “The Best Poem about Title-ing An Untitled Poem” you certainly would be entitled to it. I recall a creative writing teacher who was a stickler about titles; she said leaving a poem untitled was lazy and a refusal to finish your poem properly. In the history of Literature it seems even the use of Numbers—Sonnet 24—has been acceptable, and often the first line or phrase of a poem is used as its title—-“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night….”.

      I liked the quiz. Pour moi it was a piece of cake. Just this past month I used a line from a Shakespeare sonnet for one of my titles: “Love’s Not Time’s Fool.” Thanks for an enjoyable post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:21 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Cynthia. I believe the exception to the ‘poems must be titled rule’ is the limerick, which should never be titled (if one were to follow the rules, which apparently exist to curtail my fun, so I have occasionally titled a few of mine).

        Congrats on getting 100% on the quiz. I hereby award you the title (in deference to your gender) of DONNA-KEYOTE OF ALL YOU SURVEY! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:14 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got all the titles but sad to say did not know the last three authors off the top of my head. I guess I get a 70. But of course I knew the song.


    • mistermuse 9:05 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, you know how much I dig great old songs, so I’m giving you 30 bonus points for knowing FOOLS RUSH IN (WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD). That brings your score up to 100, which wins you the DON(FRANKEL)KEYOTE OF ALL YOU SURVEY AWARD….and well deserved, I might add!


    • arekhill1 10:32 am on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      AUTO REPLY: I’m on vacation. Any quizzes will be taken when I get back to my office.


    • mistermuse 11:07 am on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I auto wish you a great vacation, but no doubt you’re having one anyway. Safe trip home.


    • inesephoto 5:55 pm on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love your poem 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 11:20 pm on June 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got the titles but didn’t know all the authors. This was really interesting. Your poem made me laugh. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • JosieHolford 5:19 pm on November 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I got all but the Rudyard Kipling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:21 pm on November 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Well done, Josie. I had forgotten about this June 2016 post, so (if I do say so myself) title me PLEASED to ‘re-discover’ it, thanks to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: humorous verse, ,   

    A STASH OF OGDEN NASH (8/19/02–5/19/71) 

    He was born and bred in the town of Rye
    Which is said to be in the state of N. Y.
    His forebears, ’tis writ, founded Nashville, Tennessee….
    Though I admit, you couldn’t prove it by me.
    Whatever the bit, he grew up by and by;
    He had a dry wit and wrote verse that was wry —
    For which he became famous before he did die.
    Yes, he died on this date in nineteen seventy-one.
    His life made us smile, but his death was less fun.

    When I was growing up, Ogden Nash was a particular favorite of mine. In addition to writing over a dozen books, his poems appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies. Here’s a selection of four from my collection of yore:

    There was a young belle of Old Natchez
    Whose garments were always in patches.
    When comment arose
    On the state of her clothes,
    She drawled, When Ah itches, Ah scratches!


    I give you now Professor Twist,
    A conscientious scientist.
    Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
    And sent him off to distant jungles.
    Camped on a tropic riverside,
    One day he missed his loving bride.
    She had, the guide informed him later,
    Been eaten by an alligator.
    Professor Twist could not but smile.
    “You mean,” he said, “A crocodile.”


    He tells you when you’ve got on too much lipstick
    And helps you with your girdle when your hips stick.

    A child need not be very clever
    To learn that “Later” means “Never.”

    Nash could also write seriously good songs. Among them (as lyricist with composer Kurt Weill) was SPEAK LOW for the 1943 Broadway musical ONE TOUCH OF VENUS:

    • Michaeline Montezinos 12:45 am on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I thoroughly enjoyed the smashing good poems by Ogden Nash.
      Although I wonder, did he ever eat corned beef and hash?

      I liked the song SPEAK LOW from the Broadway musical. I do think I saw this made into a movie with different leading lady, perhaps it was Rita Hayworth. I remembered watching Mary Martin as Peter Pan. Sat on the floor watching her on the old black and white television with my two younger brothers. However, I did not know how beautiful Martin was until I saw the video you posted.

      Thank you for this very informative post, the Nash poems, the video and the sweet childhood memory. mistermuse you made my nightly sojourn very entertaining.


    • mistermuse 6:30 am on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right, Michaeline – the musical was made into a movie in 1948, however the leading lady was Ava Gardner. The movie was not as critically well received as the Broadway play.

      I agree about Mary Martin. She was never more beautiful than she appears in this clip, but what surprised me even more was how beautiful her voice was when she sang SPEAK LOW. I have records of her singing in later productions such as SOUTH PACIFIC and PETER PAN, and there’s no comparison with her earlier 1943 voice.


    • Don Frankel 8:53 am on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I know this song and I always loved it. For some reason I always associated it with Richard Rogers. Maybe because Mary Martin sang it. But you guys had me searching over the internet looking up the Play and the Movie. I kept replaying the song here while I did.


      • mistermuse 12:14 pm on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        It’s too bad Nash didn’t write lyrics for more musicals after ONE TOUCH OF VENUS. If SPEAK LOW is any indication, he could have contributed much to our legacy of great show tunes.


    • arekhill1 9:10 am on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Few people have fun dying. It’s why I object to the practice.


    • mistermuse 12:17 pm on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not exactly looking forward to the prospect myself. Hopefully that elusive Fountain of Youth will finally be discovered before that happens.


    • BroadBlogs 12:46 pm on May 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hate to say that I’ve heard of Ogden Nash but never known much about him. I have to check him out.

      Liked by 1 person

    • GP Cox 7:50 am on August 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Nash always brings a smile to my face.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 9:48 am on January 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: humorous verse, ,   


    I don’t comprehend
    why poems that rhyme
    must, most of the time,
    just rhyme at line’s end.
    Who so decreed it too, as though it needed
    to? And would it spell

    nonsense if most rhymes
    commence where lines start?
    Dare we call it art?
    Where I’m at, at times,
    is: does it matter where rhyme is, if indeed
    it’s where mine is?  Hell!!!

    • Don Frankel 8:32 am on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful Muse! But now we have to figure out how to share this.


    • mistermuse 3:03 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Well, it’s had THREE views already, keep in mind.
      Hell — can fame and fortune be far behind!


      • Don Frankel 4:56 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        One of our expressions in my old neighborhood applies here. “Hell no.”


    • mistermuse 8:29 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hell or no, we’re up to seven views, Don. There’s no stopping us now, no how.


  • mistermuse 9:05 am on November 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , humorous verse, , , wink   


    What can poor Ms
    Light Verse wear to
    Queen Poetry’s
    Grand Ball?

    She owns no gown,
    No fancy shoes —
    A smile, a wink,
    And style — I think
    That’s all.

    • mistermuse 11:07 am on November 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Since composing COME AS YOU ART, I came across the following line from Aschenputtel (Cinderella) as recorded by the Brothers Grimm in the 19th century (and now I remember where the idea for this poem came from):
      the stepmother refused [to allow Cinderella to go to the ball] because she had no dress nor shoes to wear.


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