poet Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc

#78 on top 500 poets

Tarantella

Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Glancing,
Dancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in--
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;
Miranda,
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar;
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far waterfall like doom.

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Poem Edited: Thursday, September 4, 2008

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Tarantella # 143 poem on top 500 Poems
3,4 out of 5
149 total ratings
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Comments about Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc

  • Francis (10/15/2020 8:58:00 AM)

    Do you remember the old, young Johnson”
    Do you remember the old?
    They have fears of your tiers and the change in their years
    You are bold, but they’re cold and terribly old
    And they don’t realise what you are?
    And you stand, hand by hand, and we don’t understand
    (behind the trio of the wooden lecterns)
    Do you remember the old, young Johnson?
    Do you remember the old?

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  • Jennifer Budden (8/12/2020 2:26:00 AM)

    Lovely and exciting, but why is it called Tarentella when this dance is Italian?

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  • Walter Sanson (5/1/2020 12:03:00 PM)

    Thank you " Scribe" now I know who Miranda was

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  • Walter Sanson (2/27/2020 5:03:00 PM)

    A beautiful piece of poetry made all the more poignant by the change of pace in the final chapter. Who was Miranda I wonder. The narration is poor and does not do the poem justice

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    Scribe(4/13/2020 6:11:00 AM)

    Miranda Macdonald, a Scot, who he met on holiday. He wrote her the poen some 30 years later.

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  • Walter Sanson (2/27/2020 5:00:00 PM)

    A beautiful work made all the more so by the sudden change of rhythm in the final verseWho was Miranda? I have often wondered

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  • Mike Harrison (2/20/2020 5:16:00 AM)

    It's " read" by a voice synthesiser, not a human.: -(

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  • Elizabeth Moore (10/7/2019 4:02:00 AM)

    The recital did not do this beautiful poem justice. When I learned it as a child, it was melodic, passionate, lively....this narration is plain woeful!

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  • barron pilgrim (9/4/2019 6:51:00 PM)

    Susan whitten

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  • Julia Wickham-Joop (8/23/2019 3:21:00 PM)

    Tarentella, learned in about 1962, still resonates in my memory. But I remember a wonderful frenetic rhythm, nothing like the sad recital you have recorded. You could hear the Spanish guitar, the whirling dancers....

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  • Alice (6/23/2019 5:05:00 PM)

    I learnt this poem at school when poetry used to be taught and enjoyed by all a pity it is not encouraged by teachers nowadays

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  • Bartholomew Arineitwe Osbert (2/6/2019 6:50:00 AM)

    This is very well developed. It must never run out the taste of time

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  • Jennifer Brown (11/1/2018 12:42:00 AM)

    I learnt this in Primary school, word perfect, and can still recite it word perfect at age 70, so it obviously stuck in my mind

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  • Frank Case (8/18/2018 7:41:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem. Abysmal recital.

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    Walter(11/2/2018 12:16:00 PM)

    Yes I agree, the recital was awful

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  • Jim Forson (7/2/2018 6:21:00 AM)

    Tarantella, a Southern Italian fast paced folk dance is far North in the Pyrenees. Belloc uses the dance as a metaphor for life. Could see this poem becoming popular at funerals.

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  • Rosmarie Thomson (5/18/2018 11:50:00 PM)

    Loved this poem. Learnt it 60 years ago when I wa ten.I can still recite it without missing a beat.

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  • DmacD (5/11/2018 5:58:00 PM)

    Spanish dancer Rainer Maria Rilke

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  • John Baker (4/11/2018 2:22:00 PM)

    Dad was fond of reciting this to us as kids, with that deep sonorous, Victorian intonation used by poets of the day. Utterly memorable and the more remarkable for the fact the author was born in France.

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  • Gloria Lee - White (4/2/2018 5:59:00 AM)

    Memories of my school days when I was first introduced to Hillaire Belloc

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  • Godfrey Tumwesigye (3/28/2018 8:50:00 AM)

    So wonderful to remember my high school days through this poem. I was in high school many years ago,1986-88, but I remember the words and the rythm.

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  • poetry girl (12/4/2017 5:41:00 PM)

    I love your poems I did a competition on the poem Jim

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Read poems about / on: remember, guitar, girl, dark, dance