John Gay

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

The Beggar's Opera (Excerpts) - Poem by John Gay

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.


Comments about The Beggar's Opera (Excerpts) by John Gay

There is no comment submitted by members..



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?

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



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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]