Monday, January 31, 2011
posted by fafnir at 10:38 AM
I am reminded of Lewis Carroll's poem, which was modeled after one by Isaac Watts:
How Doth The Little Crocodile
How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
cf. Against Idleness And Mischief
How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!
How skillfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.
In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
In books, or work, or healthy play,
Let my first years be passed
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.
I watched another speech in Arabic today - President Mubarak's address - and I am reminded of another head of state, Carroll's The Red Queen, whose poem addressed to the pig baby was inspired by David Bates' Speak Gently:
Speak gently! -- It is better far
To rule by love, than fear --
Speak gently -- let not harsh words mar
The good we might do here!
Speak gently! -- Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently Friendship's accents flow;
Affection's voice is kind.
Speak gently to the little child!
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild: --
It may not long remain.
Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear --
Pass through this life as best they may,
'T is full of anxious care!
Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let such in peace depart!
Speak gently, kindly, to the poor;
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word!
Speak gently to the erring -- know,
They may have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
Oh, win them back again!
Speak gently! -- He who gave his life
To bend man's stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, "Peace, be still."
Speak gently! -- 't is a little thing
Dropped in the heart's deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.
Carroll no doubt knew the anecdote alluded to in Bates' penultimate verse, and perhaps was inspired in his parody by a contrasting episode involving harsh words and actions directed at persons doing business in an inappropriate location.
Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.
Wow! wow! wow!
I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes;
For he can thoroughly enjoy
The pepper when he pleases!
Oh Fafnir, somehow I just knew that you would feel compelled to comment on the events unfolding for the last week in Egypt.
Thank you, and stay in touch.
These guys are protesting in some crazy foreign language! Why don't they speak English, so everybody will understand them?
I hope the situation getting better in next days
The 9/11 truth is out on the internet.
This is the truth - The WTC was destroyed by 3 thermo-nuclear explosions.
Or Kipling's Ballad of Ways and Means:
"Who could doubt the secret hid
Under Cheops' pyramid
Was that the contractor did*
Pharaoh out of several millions?
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Dang, six weeks ago already.
This topic doesn't seem too popular, unlike pies. I guess people aren't quite ready for revolution yet. Then again who is? Besides everything is just fine. Ask those people who got off the plane from Tokyo Wednesday in Chicago all crapped up.