Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

(21 November 1863 – 12 May 1944 / England)

Caliban Upon Rudiments Or Autoschediastic Theology In A Hole


Rudiments, Rudiments, and Rudiments!
'Thinketh one made them i' the fit o' the blues.
'Thinketh one made them with the 'tips' to match,
But not the answers; 'doubteth there be none,
Only Guides, Helps, Analyses, such as that:
Also this Beast, that groweth sleek thereon,
And snow-white bands that round the neck o' the same.
'Thinketh, it came of being ill at ease.
'Hath heard that Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands, and the rest o 't. That's the case.
Also 'hath heard they pop the names i' the hat,
Toss out a brace, a dozen stick inside;
Let forty through and plough the sorry rest.
'Thinketh, such shows nor right nor wrong in them,
Only their strength, being made o' sloth i' the main—
'Am strong myself compared to yonder names
O' Jewish towns i' the paper. Watch th' event—
'Let twenty pass, 'have a shot at twenty-first,
'Miss Ramoth-Gilead, 'take Jehoiakim,
'Let Abner by and spot Melchizedek,
Knowing not, caring not, just choosing so,
As it likes me each time, I do: so they.
'Saith they be terrible: watch their feats i' the Viva!
One question plays the deuce with six months' toil.
Aha, if they would tell me! No, not they!
There is the sport: 'come read me right or die!'
All at their mercy,—why they like it most
When—when—well, never try the same shot twice!
'Hath fled himself and only got up a tree.
'Will say a plain word if he gets a plough.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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