Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hoorch, Hoorch, Hoorch and Gak, Gak, Gak

James Henry, Wordsworth and the Pig, in The Unripe Windfalls (Dublin: University Press, 1851), pp. 19-20:
Wordsworth walked once near Ambleside,
  Upon a summer's day,
And, upward gazing, struck his lyre
  To this majestic lay:—

"There's poetry in every thing,
  In small as well as big"—
But just as he had got so far,
  He trod upon a pig.

"Hoorch!" quoth the pig, with such a grunt,
  As you might well excuse,
If ever you had seen the nails
  In the great poet's shoes.

"Hoorch!" quoth the poet, "there it is,
  As plain as plain can be;
Even in this pig's grunt I do hear
  The voice of poetry.

"There's poetry in every thing,
  In small as well as big;
In Goody Blake and Harry Gill,
  And in this grunting pig.

"There's poetry in every thing
  We hear, or see, or smell;
You have it here in 'hoorch! hoorch! hoorch!'
  And there in Peter Bell.

"For poetry's but natural thought
  In natural sounds expressed,
And that which hath the least of art
  The truest is and best.

"Of poets, therefore, we're the first,
  Thou grunting pig and I;
For where's the poet that with us
  In artlessness can vie?"

Elate he said: then onward passed,
  And bade the pig adieu;
And then his lyre he struck again,
  And sang with rapture new:—

"There's poetry in every thing,
  In small as well as big;
In Goody Blake and Harry Gill,
  And in yon grunting pig."
James Henry, A Half-Year's Poems (Dresden: C.C. Meinhold and Sons, 1854), p. 45:
The Roman Lyrist's soul, 'tis said,
Out of his body when it fled,
Entered the body of a swan,
And there continued to sing on.

But when the bard of Ambleside,
Following the example, died,
His spirit — never of much use —
Entered the body of a goose,
And, faithful to its ancient knack,
Kept gabbling ever, gak gak gak.

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