John Gay

(30 June 1685 – 4 December 1732 / Barnstaple, England)

The Beggar's Opera (excerpts)


Air I.An old woman clothed in gray, &c.1-
Through all the employments of life
-
Each neighbour abuses his brother;
-
Whore and rogue they call husband and wife:
-
All professions be-rogue one another.
-
The priest calls the lawyer a cheat,
-
The lawyer be-knaves the divine;
-
And the statesman, because he's so great,
-
Thinks his trade as honest as mine.Air XI.A Soldier and a Sailor2-
A fox may steal your hens, sir,
-
A whore your health and pence, sir,
-
Your daughter rob your chest, sir,
-
Your wife may steal your rest, sir,
-
A thief your goods and plate.

-
But this is all but picking,
-
With rest, pence, chest and chicken;
-
It ever was decreed, sir,
-
If lawyer's hand is fee'd, sir,
-

He steals your whole estate.Air XXII.Cotillon3-
Youth's the season made for joys,
-
Love is then our duty,
-
She alone who that employs,
-
Well deserves her beauty.
-
Let's be gay,
-
While we may,
-
Beauty's a flower, despised in decay.CHORUS.3-
Youth's the season, &c.Cotillon3-
Let us drink and sport to-day,
-

Ours is not to-morrow.
-

Love with youth flies swift away,
-

Age is nought but sorrow.
-

Dance and sing,
-

Time's on the wing,
-

Life never knows the return of spring.CHORUS.3-

Let us drink, &c.Air XXVI.4-
Courtiers, Courtiers think it no harm, &c.4-
Man may escape from rope and gun;
-
Nay, some have out-liv'd the doctor's pill;
-
Who takes a woman must be undone,
-
That basilisk is sure to kill.
-
The fly that sips treacle is lost in the sweets,
-
So he that tastes woman, woman, woman,
-
He that tastes woman, ruin meets.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: woman, soldier, husband, daughter, beauty, brother, dance, flower, sorrow, spring, lost, alone, life, women

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Beggar's Opera (excerpts) by John Gay )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Acquainted with the Night, Robert Frost
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Edward Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. A Winter Walk, Phil Soar
  2. The Heart Foretells, Patti Masterman
  3. Louisiana Weather (Short), Nika McGuin
  4. Darling Dare, katusiime jeresi
  5. That And This, Indira Renganathan
  6. Florette's Woods, Nika McGuin
  7. Merger, Nalini Jyotsana Chaturvedi
  8. Naat-Zaufishan Nabi Hayn, Akhtar Jawad
  9. Extension, Asit Kumar Sanyal
  10. Of the old church, Emmanuel George Cefai
[Hata Bildir]