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

    VERSES WITH CURSES 

    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

      I WANT TO THANK ALL WHO COMMENTED. FOR NOW, I’M UNABLE TO REPLY INDIVIDUALLY DUE TO COMPUTER ISSUES, SO PLEASE EXCUSE THIS COLLECTIVE RESPONSE, WHICH IS BEING SENT ON MY DAUGHTER’S COMPUTER. SORRY I CAN’T DO MORE UNTIL THE PROBLEM IS FIXED, BUT IT SEEMS I’M THE VICTIM OF AN IRISH CURSE! WHY ME, LORD (INSTEAD OF THAT INFIDEL, THE DONALD)?

      Like

      • 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. 🙂

          Like

        • 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.

        Like

    • 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.

        Like

    • 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

      Muse,

      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! 😉

      Mark

      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.

        Like

    • 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.

        Like

    • 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

      continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blarney, , , , , Ireland, Irish wit, , , , , , St. Parick's Day   

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY? BAH! HUMBUG! 

    Here it is two days before March 17, and I’m resigning myself to be the Grinch who stole St. Patrick’s Day. Being a writer of (part) Irish heritage — and thus feeling obliged to beget my readers a post to celebrate the occasion — I’ve been roiling me brain to come up with something about Ireland’s fifth-century snake-chaser that isn’t the same old blarney, but I’ve hit a stone wall stouter than those that subdivide the Irish countryside:

    The Stone Walls of Ireland

    Enough already. If St. Patrick thinks I’m going to waste another second of my busy day refraining from raining on his parade, he’s got another think coming. There are plenty of other dead fish in the Irish Sea who merit time in the sun, and though it may raise a stink, I am going to turn this post over to them and say “Bah! Humbug!” to St. Patrick.

    I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could. –George Bernard Shaw

    I am allergic to all Irish wit, charm and humor not provided by myself. –Denis Brogan

    Good Lord, what a sight/After all their good Cheer/For people to fight/In the midst of their Beer. –Jonathan Swift (from THE DESCRIPTION OF AN IRISH-FEAST)

    The lanky hank of a she in the inn 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.
    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.
    –James Stephens (from RIGHTEOUS ANGER)

    For the Great Gaels of Ireland/Are the men that God made mad,/For all their wars are merry/And all their songs are sad. –G. K. Chesterton

    Other people have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis. –Oscar Wilde

    The actual Irish weather report is really a recording made in 1922, which no one has had occasion to change. –Wilfred Sheed

    I saw a fleet of fishing boats…I flew down, almost touching the craft, and yelled at them, asking if I was on the right [course] to Ireland. They just stared. Maybe they didn’t hear me. Maybe I didn’t hear them. Or maybe they thought I was just a crazy fool. An hour later I saw land. –Charles Lindbergh (2nd day of first solo transatlantic flight, 5/21/1927)

     

     
    • BroadBlogs 12:47 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love St. Patty’s Day! (My grandpa’s birthday). Happy day to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:58 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As an Irishman whose beloved is a Jew, I feel alarmed by Wilde’s observation, made here in your post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:03 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Well, Ricardo, at least you have the right to drown your troubles in a brew or two (or more). I leave it to you how to relieve your beloved’s psychosis.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 6:50 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      They most probably thought Lindbergh was a Brit that’s why they didn’t answer him. But I remember not so long ago marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York. The sun was out and the temperature reached into the 60’s. It was a great day for the Irish and anyone else who happened to be about.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:21 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, back in 1927, those simple Irish fishermen may have never seen an airplane before. It’s a wonder that didn’t jump overboard at the sight and sound of Lindbergh and his big metal bird coming down at them from out of the blue.

      Happy snowy St. Patrick’s Day there in NYC (though I hear you didn’t get the foot of the white stuff yesterday that was expected).

      Like

    • Garfield Hug 8:44 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Happy St Patty’s Day. Smile Mistermuse ha ha😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:58 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Likewise, me bonnie lassie….and watch out that your orange pet Garfield doesn’t celebrate by drinking too much green beer and maybe spilling it all over his fur — the colors might clash.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 9:51 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse we got about 4 inches and they didn’t even try to tell us it was 12 inches. Lately snow fall accumulations reported by weathermen seem to be like guys talking abut there you know what’s. Not quite as advertised.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 10:18 am on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Kudos to the Irish descendant
      Whose muses are comment dependent.
      His genius, you see, is apparent to me –
      And all other “Observation Post” attendants.

      Happy St. Patty’s Day MisterMuse!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:20 pm on March 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What can I say —
      You made me day.
      No way did I know it —
      That you’re such a poet.
      With envy I’m green —
      Such talent I’ve not seen
      Since Dickenson and Browning
      And I’m not just clowning….
      Well, maybe a bit —
      But I must show I’m a (nit)wit.

      Have a Happy yourself, dear lady! 🙂

      Like

    • linnetmoss 7:52 am on March 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You made me chuckle with your dead fish. And reminded me that it’s time to buy some Guinness. No green beer for me!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:07 am on March 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think Guinness owes me a commission, but I won’t press the issue because they might pay me in dead fish. No matter — your chuckle is reward enough. 🙂

      Like

    • In My Cluttered Attic 3:17 pm on March 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      And a happy St. Paddy’s Day to you mistermuse. :O)

      Liked by 1 person

    • RMW 7:31 pm on March 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I signed up for a photography tour of Ireland for this summer but it was canceled due to lack of interest. Whaaaaaat???? I am so bummed…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:40 pm on March 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I would be bummed too. The tour company must not have promoted the tour very well. I can’t imagine a lack of interest in such a tour if enough people knew about it!

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dorothy Lamour, February 29, Hannibal Missouri, , Ireland, , Karen Carpenter, Leap Day birthdays, Leap Year, , , , ,   

    OF LOVERS AND LEAPERS 

    On Leap Day (Feb. 29), according to an ancient Irish custom, a woman is permitted to propose to a man, who must accept, or pay a penalty. Thus, being of part-Irish descent, my thoughts this day turn — or should I say, leap— to love. Ah, L’AMOUR! Ah, LAMOUR (Dorothy Lamour, that is — she of silver screen memory and part-Irish descent). Sure, and I  still don’t know why she didn’t propose to this dear boy back in those saronged “ROAD” movie days, being as close as the first row of the darkened theater, and I only 22 years younger than she. When love dreams have gone so cruelly unrequited, ’tis THE END OF THE WORLD — one might just as well d(r)ive off a suitable cliff. For example:

    Click LOVE ROCKS

    Now, if I were a cynic, I might postulate that the daring young man in the flying machine was under the influence of something more substance-tive than love that didn’t click. But this happened in the hallowed Hannibal of our beloved Mark Twain, who coincidentally wrote of a Lover’s Leap called Maiden’s Rock (named for a beautiful Sioux maiden) in his book LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI….so let us not jump to judgment.

    Maiden’s Rock and the Lover’s Leap in Hannibal are, of course, but two of many such sites in America and beyond (including one of legendary leaps from a rocky waterfall on the Glencree River, County Wicklow, Ireland). If your love dreams are on the rocks and you’re thinking of taking the plunge, but don’t know where you’d make the biggest splash,

    look here BEFORE YOU LEAP

    On a happier note, Feb. 29 is a good day to be born because your birthday only comes around every four years. That may put a serious crimp in the number of birthday presents you get, but who wouldn’t exchange that shortfall for quadruple the longevity? I’ll admit I don’t personally know anyone who’s lived to near age 400, probably because such persons cheat and celebrate their non-leap year birthdays on Feb.28 or March 1. Oh, well — who can blame them for not wanting to depend on Depends for the last 300 years of their lives?

    But I do know of some of the statistically 1 in 1461 people born on Feb. 29 — people like Jimmy Dorsey, the 1930s-40s Big Band leader; Dinah Shore, the 1940s band vocalist and 1950s-60s TV & recording star; and Michèle Morgan, a French actress who came to the U.S. when Germany invaded France in 1940, and returned after the war. Though little known outside France, she has the distinction of having played opposite Frank Sinatra in his first starring role in the film Higher and Higher (1943), and she almost landed the female lead in Casablanca opposite Humphrey Bogart, but RKO wouldn’t release her to Warner Bros. for the sum of money offered. She is still with us on this, her 96th birthday.

    Should we end where we started, leaving the dashed dreams of life and romance on the precipice, as lamented here by Karen Carpenter (born March 2nd)? Don’t they know it’s THE END OF THE WORLD?

    Or, should we get a grip, and tell February 29 to take a flying leap? Forward, March!

     

     
    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:04 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Ah 2/29.
      It sure gets its fanfare!
      Happy leap day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 7:57 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Didn’t know about the Lover’s Leap in Co. Wicklow. They must be universal. Even Sappho talks about a Lover’s Leap…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:10 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      One would think Lover’s Leaps are universal, but I googled Lover’s Leaps in France during my research for this post, and came up empty. No doubt, my readers from the land of l’amour know more than Google, and can-can leap to fill in the gap.

      Like

    • ladysighs 8:43 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love your posts and how you tie your words/thoughts together. You always give interesting and little know facts ( Michèle Morgan — for one) and end the presentation with ….. well The End. Karen Carpenter or course is sad. But she somehow made the sadness she sang about seem a little less sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:28 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciate your comment (it’s always good to be appreciated). And what you say about Karen Carpenter is so true. Such a beautiful voice and such a young age to meet her maker. I recommend to those who aren’t familiar with the details of her life and death, to Google her name.

        Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 10:44 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Leap Day, to my mind, is the least of the February holidays, dwarfed by the immensely more significant Groundhog Day, which at least has the decency to come around every year. But thanks for the clip of “Don’t Say No,” which happens to be the first song I ever slow-danced to.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:47 am on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If nothing else, Groundhog Day is a helluva great movie, and Leap Day has yet to make a title appearance on film….an oversight which some creative director and writers should look into.

      Like

    • carmen 1:01 pm on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wouldn’t you know it? There’s a Lover’s Leap very close to where I live! 🙂 Happy Leap Day to you, mistermuse!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:06 pm on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      And to you as well, Carmen. If I may make a suggestion, why don’t you write a post sometime about that nearby Lover’s Leap, complete with pix? No doubt there is a history there, and perhaps you could dig up a legend or story or two which I’m sure your readers (including me) would find interesting. 🙂

      Like

      • carmen 4:33 pm on February 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Food for thought! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Michaeline Montezinos 7:10 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink

          I don’t think Ground Hog Day is as significant a holiday as Valentine’s Day. I have not heard of a Lovers Leap yet here in Florida. Chances are if one would jump off a small hill he or she would land in the water. My Grandmother, Joanna Blajda, was born on February 29 but I don’t think she ever celebrated her birthday at all. She was one of many immigrants from Poland , probably because of the war. A no nonsense lady who treated her grandchildren with great care and much love..

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:16 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      How do you know when it’s a leap year? We elect President’s in leap years. Talk abut look before you leap.

      Like

      • mistermuse 9:39 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Excellent point, Don. I’d never thought about the fact that Presidential election years and Leap Years coincide (as if the campaign season wasn’t long enough without the extra day).

        Like

    • mistermuse 9:31 am on March 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Michaeline, there are molehills in my back yard higher than almost any promontories in Florida. I leveled one that would’ve caused instant death to any lovelorn mole contemplating a leap from its summit, and several others that would’ve resulted in crippling injuries. But do those moles appreciate my solicitude? No, they just keep making more mountains out of molehills like they’re in a competition to impress the objects of their affections by the size of their protuberances.

      I guess bigger is better, even among moles.

      Like

    • Mél@nie 11:46 am on March 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      ah, l’amour… encore et toujours l’AMOUR!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Ireland, , lawyers, , November 30, , , punning, , , ,   

    30 NOVEMBER — TO THE SWIFT 

    As 3o days hath the month of November,
    Today marks the end of a month to remember.
    Swift doth the day pass into December,
    Ere the twain shall meet….in a glowing ember.

    The above is my Lilliputian ode to two literary giants who were born on this day: Jonathan Swift  in 1667, Mark Twain in 1835. This post celebrates the former, the latter having been extolled in a post one year ago today (THE UNIVERSAL MARK TWAIN).

    Jonathan Swift’s pièce de résistance, of course, was GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, a book I gobbled up when about 12 years old (in an abridged version for children), and still own. However, at that age I didn’t fully appreciate that it was much more than a grand adventure tale — it’s also a masterpiece of parody and social/political satire, as exemplified by the enmity between the empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu over which end of an egg should be broken first before being eaten — a conflict which put Gulliver in the middle between the Big Endians and the Small Endians. Well, I suppose that makes just as much sense as real people fighting over whose god is the Big Enchilada.

    Let us turn now to three quotations from the unabridged GULLIVER’S TRAVELS:

    Here commences a new dominion acquired with a title by divine right. Ships are sent with the first opportunity; the natives driven out or destroyed; their princes tortured to discover their gold; a free license give to all acts of inhumanity and lust, the earth reeking with the blood of its inhabitants: and this execrable crew of butchers, employed in so pious an expedition, is a modern colony, sent to convert an idolatrous and barbarous people.

    The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.

    It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of decreeing accordingly.

    I close with three more Swift quotes, the last of which I intend to inscribe on a club to beat anyone who would disparage my stunning cunning punning:

    When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore.

    Words are the clothing of our thoughts.

    Punning is a talent which no man affects to despise except he that is without it.

     

    –30–

     

     
    • linnetmoss 7:26 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If only there were more authors with the wit of these two! Love the quote about punning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:34 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Both seem to have had much in common as to how they viewed their fellow man, though I gather Swift was regarded as even more of a misanthrope than Twain. In any case, is there really much difference between a realist and a misanthrope, other than a matter of degree? 😦 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:59 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      People are ambitious. They come up with rationales as they go or afterwards.

      Like

      • mistermuse 1:47 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Right you are, Don — though I wouldn’t confine coming up with rationales just to the ambitious. For example, I have no problem coming up with rationales for being a couch potato on Sundays, because, as I tell my wife, watching football keeps me out of trouble.

        Like

    • arekhill1 10:23 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Substitute “women” for “eggs” and the passions of the Small Endians regarding the Big Endians become more understandable. Is this what Swift really meant?

      Like

      • mistermuse 2:13 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Well, given the Swift quote about how men treat a whore, it appears he was able to put himself in a woman’s place and see things from her viewpoint. He was, after all, a priest in the Church of Ireland (a branch of the Anglican Church), which afforded him somewhat more latitude (in theory) than if he’d been a Catholic priest.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:24 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re not a Psychopath Muse, who sees people as objects that just need to be swept out of the way on your way to wherever and whatever. Perhaps on the way to the greater good.

      Like

    • mistermuse 12:14 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I’m probably more of a muse-anthrope — but whatever I am….

      Like

    • Jane 12:54 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I also loved Gulliver’s Travels as a child (the abridged version). It was only much later in life I understood that there was more to it than a children’s story. I must admit I have never read the unabridged version so thank you for sharing some of it along with your thoughts. Just a comment on abridged versions. I read so many as a child and they were a great way to introduce me gently and enjoyably to many great authors and playwrights. Reading Shakespeare’s plays as a book of stories with pictures as a child was great preparation for being able to understand his works later.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:57 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment. I didn’t appreciate Shakespeare until later because I wasn’t “properly” introduced to him as a child. But, as they say, all good things come to those who wait (if you live long enough, which, fortunately, I have).

      Like

    • Outlier Babe 10:50 am on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have read the unabridged version but see I must go back and not only do so again, but again annually or so. Will buy a copy. Hadn’t read “Travels” since college. Decades later, I’m slower–less swift 😉 –but more patient. That makes me smart enough now to read Swift properly.

      (Aspie ego-saving non-sequiter: I was always smart enough to read Twain properly.)

      I like your posts so far, Muse-Man. Maybe I’ll read some more some time. If I’ve got nothin’ better to do.

      –O. Babe

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:15 pm on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That makes two of us, O. Babe, but I hope to read more of your posts sooner rather than….well, as soon as possible after researching, writing and editing my next post on Feb. 10 (I’m cursed with being something of a perfectionist, so it takes me a few days put it all together & get it – hopefully – right).

      Like

  • mistermuse 9:41 am on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ancestry, Innisfree, Ireland, , , , Yeats   

    SANCTUARY 

    There is Irish blood, gift of immigrant flood,
    Coursing through my veins;
    There is no life whole without a stroll
    Down ancestral memory lanes.

    The father of my mother came,
    O’er a century ago,
    From Yeats’ “Terrible Beauty”
    That I one day must know.

    No man can come home again:
    ‘Tis not the days of yore;
    But time can’t still the silent call….
    “I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”

    Then, at last, the moment came,
    And I never felt so free
    As the day I left to travel back
    To my roots across the sea.

    Now I, too, have seen and walked
    The land time can’t forget;
    Now I, too, have known and breathed
    The peace that’s yearning yet.

    And when I die tomorrow,
    I’ll soft-greet eternity —
    For I have been where the spirit’s at rest,
    And I’ll return again….to Innisfree.

     
    • arekhill1 10:00 am on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Nicely wrought, Sr. Muse. Happy Saint Patrick’s Week!

      Like

      • mistermuse 1:52 pm on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Same to you, Ricardo…. and may ye never run out of Stout all the days of yer life

        Like

    • ladysighs 12:24 pm on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I read it several times…. more than twice. Gentle and thoughtful poem.

      Like

    • mistermuse 1:59 pm on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Sure now, and yer a sweet lass fer sayin’ so. As for the poem, guess I’m just a sentimentalist at heart.

      Like

      • Michaeline Montezinos 6:52 pm on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I had forgotten you had Irish blood, mistermuse. See my last comment at the last posting of IN THE BEGINNING. I had sent you some greetings for this wonderful holiday of wearing of the green.

        Like

    • mistermuse 7:37 pm on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Green greetings to you as well, Michaeline. My Irish grandfather was part of the great wave of Irish immigrants to the U.S. (and elsewhere) over a century ago….as exemplified by this George Bernard Shaw quote: “I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.”

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:28 am on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      By the way, your poem today softly touched my heart. It made me wish I could depart and vist my ancestral home. I liked knowing about your grandfather and why he left the Emerald Isle. I wonder why he left such a lovely land.

      Like

      • mistermuse 7:42 am on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        The story of why millions of Irish left the lovely land of Ireland is a long and sad one, Michaeline, having mostly to do with British oppression, the Great Potato Famine of the mid-1800s (during which many starved to death), and poverty. Although I don’t remember my grandfather talking about it, I’m sure he left Ireland to seek a better life and earn a living.

        Like

    • Mélanie 2:28 am on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      impressive and emotional – like une declaration d’amour to your roots… which does make sense to me as all the white Americans have European origins and I do believe that identity is very important – even though you’ve been American for several generations… – correct me if I’m wrong, please!

      btw, have you ever been to Ireland?… we love it and the Irish are wonderful folks… there’s a funny joke about WHY the French, the Irish and the Scots have always liked each other and have gotten along for hundreds of years: ’cause we all have the same enemy – the Brits! 🙂

      Like

      • Mélanie 2:30 am on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        P.S. désolée, I’ve cliked too fast on “post comment”: have a pleasant St-Patrick’s Day! P.S. my only brother-in-law’s name is… Patrick! 🙂

        Like

    • mistermuse 8:02 am on March 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Merci, Melanie. Yes. indeed, I’ve been to Ireland, love the country, and still have relatives there that I met during my visit 30+ years ago (and still keep in touch with). Those memories, of course, are the basis of my poem, which I actually wrote years ago and had published in a poetry magazine titled INNISFREE (from Yeats’ poem LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE).

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Book of Kells, , , , Importance of Being Earnest, Ireland, , , , , , Pygmalion, satiric masterpieces, St. Patrick, ,   

    DON’T BLAME ME — I’M IRISH (PART FOUR) 

    I contemplated concluding this four-part series with thoughts and reminisences on my tour of the Emerald Isle some thirty years ago, but I have so many fond memories that I lack the time, and perhaps the words, to do them justice. Besides, recounting personal vacation trips is a dubious proposition of boring potential at best, so I’ll spare you (and me) the task, and go instead with a few swigs of St. Patrick’s Day trivia and a wee bit of Irish Lit, writ and wit.

    Let’s start with St. Patrick himself. One might assume that St. Patricks Day is celebrated on March 17 because that’s his birthday, but in fact, his exact birth date is unknown. March 17 is the day he died (in the year 461).

    The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in NYC on March 17, 1762. For more on this and other things Irish, click on these short video clips:

    http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/history-of-st-patricks-day/videos/nyc

    As for Irish Lit, one of the earliest surviving manuscripts is the painstakingly crafted and astonishingly beautiful Book of Kells (circa 800), which I had the pleasure of viewing at Dublin’s Trinity College Library. See for yourself at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Kells

    Ireland, of course, has produced some of the greatest satirists and masterpieces of wit in history, including Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion, on which My Fair Lady is based), and John Millington Synge (The Playboy of the Western World). Excellent movies (and some not-so-excellent re-makes) have been made of all, and I close with a quote or a clip from each:

    The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his God, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.  –Gulliver’s Travels (1939)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eymdx4xomM  –The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADz07k_wXU  –Pygmalion (1938)

    …if it’s a poor thing to be lonesome, it’s worse maybe to go mixing with the fools of earth.  –The Playboy of the Western World (1962)

    May this St. Patrick’s Day find you neither lonesome nor with the fools of earth.

     
    • arekhill1 1:45 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Been years since I read the Playboy of the Western World. thanks for reminding me of it.

      Like

    • mistermuse 4:07 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I own a two-record (33 1/3 rpm) box set of the play recorded by Cyril Cusack (who played the playboy) Productions of Dublin in 1955. The accompanying booklet relates how the play’s first performance in Dublin in 1907 caused a riot because, as the Irish Times wrote, “the majority of theatregoers are not accustomed to remoreless truth.” The 1911 American premiere caused “one of the noisiest rows ever seen in a New York theatre.”

      I find it extremely interesting that one of the play’s champions was none other than ex-President Teddy Roosevelt, who wrote that “The little crowd of denaturalized Irishmen who tried to prevent the performance of The Playboy of the Western World by the Irish players in New York City have succeeded in doing precisely what was needed to bring the play to public attention.”

      How much, and yet how little, people and times have changed since then.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on March 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: County Clare, County Galway, County Kerry, County Limerick, Ireland, Irish Grand National, Irish places, leprechauns,   

    DON’T BLAME ME — I’M IRISH (PART THREE) 

    I have long had a fascination with interesting place names — especially those with odd and/or humorous connotations, such as the libidinously-named Intercourse, Pennsylvania, or the differently-torrid town of Hell, Michigan.

    Ireland, as you might imagine, has its share of “Far-away places with strange sounding names” (as the old hit song put it), so it doesn’t seem far-fetched to devote my third St. Patrick’s Day piece to strange-sounding places in the Emerald Isle….and I can think of no more fitting place to start than the first name on the list:

    FAIRYHOUSE, northwest of Dublin, isn’t a town but a racecourse, and not an obscure one either. It is the venue of the renowned Irish Grand National Steeplechase and the Irish Gold Cup. And would you believe the jockeys are leprechauns?

    BALLYBUNION, County Kerry, is known as the Town of the Sapling, not the Bunion. Apparently the saplings have no bunions until they grow enough feet to become trees able to have bunions, but that may be just a tall story.

    KNOCK, a village in County Mayo, is the site of a church and shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose apparition (with Saint Joseph and John the Evangelist) reputedly appeared there in 1879.  It was not long before KNOCKLONG, a village in County Limerick, got jealous and claimed that Jesus had appeared at their church. Unfortunately, the door was locked and Jesus didn’t KNOCK LONG enough for anyone to hear — or see — him.

    LOOP HEAD, is the western-most point of County Clare, where a cliff overlooks a channel of the Atlantic Ocean called the Lover’s Leap. I don’t know how many Loop Heads have leapt off Lover’s Leap, but it’s probably the only place in Ireland where more lovers have drowned their sorrows in water than in liquor.

    RECESS, County Galway, is a fishing resort situated in a valley separating the Twelve Bens from the Maamturk Mountains. Why the Twelve Bens need separating from the Maamturk Mountains I don’t know, and since I’m on Recess, I have no intention of checking it out.

    If I’m not back by tomorrow evenin’, ye will know I’m still doin’ research for Part Four at the local….library. But never fear — like St.Patrick hisself, I shall return.

     
    • Don Frankel 5:57 am on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Who could knock any of these places? But today is the day Mister O’Muse and enjoy. Erin go Bragh. I know that last one as we used to peddle green balloons with that lettered in gold on them on this day.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:58 am on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Top o’ the afternoon to ye, Don, and thank ye for the good wishes. Frankel go Bragh!

      Like

  • mistermuse 6:57 am on March 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ireland, Irish lullabies, Irish proverbs, Irish toasts, leprechans, ,   

    DON’T BLAME ME — I’M IRISH (PART TWO) 

    For day two of our St. Patrick’s Day celebration, we turn to Irish toasts and proverbs. Given the Irishman’s fondness for a wee nip now and then and again, one would expect there to be no shortage of the former, and as for the latter, well, no doubt many an Irish proverb was born of a toast, after more or less sober reflection. In any case….

    Everyone is wise till he speaks.

    As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

    May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

    If you don’t know the way, walk slowly.

    Long life to you, a wet mouth, and may you die in Ireland.

    May misfortune follow you the rest of your life and never catch up.

    If you want praise, die. If you want blame, marry.

    Leprechans, castles, good luck and laughter.
    Lullabies, dreams and love ever after.

    If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!

    May your glass be ever full.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    And the rain fall soft upon your fields,
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Two days down the hatch and tumor to go (sorry, couldn’t resist). For day three, I’ll get dressed in me Sunday best and request ye be my guest for Part Three.

     
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