Hilaire Belloc

(27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953 / La Celle-Saint-Cloud)

Tarantella - Poem by Hilaire Belloc

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.


Comments about Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc

  • (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 (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (8/18/2018 7:41:00 AM)


    Wonderful poem. Abysmal recital. (Report) Reply

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

    Yes I agree, the recital was awful

  • (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. (Report) Reply

  • (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. (Report) Reply

  • (5/11/2018 5:58:00 PM)


    Spanish dancer Rainer Maria Rilke (Report) Reply

  • (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. (Report) Reply

  • (4/2/2018 5:59:00 AM)


    Memories of my school days when I was first introduced to Hillaire Belloc (Report) Reply

  • (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. (Report) Reply

  • (12/4/2017 5:41:00 PM)


    I love your poems I did a competition on the poem Jim (Report) Reply

  • (11/15/2017 9:18:00 AM)


    All time classic (Report) Reply

  • Sylvaonyema Uba (10/27/2017 12:45:00 AM)


    Good poem embellished in good devices of sound
    and rhythmic effect..
    Sylva-Uba
    (Report) Reply

  • Chinedu Dike (1/27/2017 7:56:00 PM)


    Beautiful piece of poetry elegantly brought forth in good rhyme scheme. (Report) Reply

  • (11/26/2016 4:39:00 PM)


    (Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc.) **Author enjoying some giddy reflections. (Report) Reply

  • Earnest Gatuma (11/6/2016 3:33:00 AM)


    I don't how but this poem ever since I read it has created some sought of music rhythm in my mind, so repetitive.I love it! (Report) Reply

  • (4/22/2016 4:24:00 AM)


    I learned this poem as a 15year old in school. I loved it then and still remember it. I think I fell in love with the Flemenco dancer, Miranda. Miranda and Carmen, two beautiful, wonderful women. I'm still in love with both, , hahah! (Report) Reply

  • (3/2/2016 7:36:00 AM)


    I've just heard that Miranda was actually a general and the song is about a brothel full of soldiers - I can't tell you how disappointed I am! This information is from Robin Tritschler, tenor speaking about a recital of songs by Richard Hagemann in Belfast.
    I've just re-read the poem again and prefer to think of it as an unorthodox romantic jaunt with Miranda being the Muse, however! Perhaps we have our own imaginings and they are as valid - and the song is wonderful evocation of an unorthodox Spain of memory....
    (Report) Reply

  • Birgitta Abimbola Heikka (8/18/2014 6:21:00 PM)


    Very entertaining poem. Enjoyed it. (Report) Reply

  • (8/15/2014 3:48:00 PM)


    Makes me think of Spain in another century...very picturesque poem.. (Report) Reply

  • (8/15/2014 10:34:00 AM)


    A beautiful poem with good word power and remembrances. (Report) Reply

  • Edgar Stevens (8/15/2014 7:56:00 AM)


    this poem is awesome.... (Report) Reply

Read all 39 comments »

# 175 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
3,4 / 5 ( 149 votes ) 38



What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Thursday, September 4, 2008


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]