I wear to chapel every Sunday. I’m wearing a vest,
Underpants and sock suspenders.
I feel I’m properly dressed to meet the Queen.
But I’m sweating a lot, causing my thighs to chafe
And the crease of my pants is rubbing my cock
I am worried I may get an erection
In the presence of the Queen
The Irishman considered,
‘I’ve a pound of Semtex up me arse,
I’ve got land mines on me feet,
My hat’s hiding a device marked bomb
And I’m wired to the Speaking Clock
I think it’s unlikely if I came naked
That I could make a bigger impression on the Queen'.
A Wet Old Wednesday
I’ve heard its said
That when she’s dead
There will be a state funeral for Mrs Thatcher
I hope she is outlived by
Who has my permission to wear
His Donkey Jacket
If he wishes to accept an invite.
As the funeral cortege leaves
Which is surely where it will start
I would have a Salsa Band
On the steps of St Johns
Playing hits from Ibiza
Pleasant melodies from a distant land
Normally atstate affairs
The Massed Bands of the Royal Marines
Or the various Guards regiments
Would follow the coffin
Playing Dido’s Lament
I would decree that follow they may
But only playing the hits of Adam Ant
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Or Duran Duran.
A brass band
From a wracked community
Will play the Dirty Blackleg Miner
As the coffin turns into St Peter Street
But in 6/4 time
With clog dancing.
As the procession heads onto Great Smith Street
A tango band will play
‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’
Followed by a recording
And I hope I can convince
Billy Bragg to turn up on the day
A New England
More dancing on the corner ofBroad Sanctuary
Perhaps the Birdie Dance
Performed by a section 28
Selection of gay men and lesbian women
The massed lines of
The British Line Dance Club
And the Dagenham Girl Pipers.
As the coffin turns into the Abbey Close
Elton John will rise up
On a cinema organ
Froma hole skilfully dug in the ground
And adapting the tune from an earlier hit
Will add new words to
‘Saturday Nights All Right for Fighting’
Finally you will be laid to rest
Below the sprung floor of the Tower Ballroom
The demand for dances
On your grave
Being so great
That no other place
Was deemed suitable.
Thursday lunchtime, Southwold Pier
If Melvyn Bragg had chosen to take
His lunchtime perambulation
On Southwold Pier
Five minutes later than he did
He would have been witness
To a Suffolk man
Punching a fish
Right on the end of its nose.
Ten minutes later than Melvyn Bragg
A couple came along
And spying the fish laying dead
On a Sainsbury shopping bag
‘Did the famous person
See you catch that fish?’
To which the answer was 'No'.
And they also missed
A Suffolk man
Punching a fish
Right on the end of its nose.
Friday Night in any East CoastTown
Three women walk into a bar
They are all of different ages
‘When I was young’ said one,
‘We didn’t have to look far,
To find men who treated women like ladies’
‘When I was young’ said another
‘It was quite alright to describe men as gay’
Especially if they smiled a lot.
Like my brother,
But as it turned out he was gay
‘I’m still young’ said the third woman
‘And I’m having a large G&T,
Because whether I pick up a man tonight
Alcohol is a great insurance policy
Never on a Sunday
The Archbishop of Canterbury met an actress
On the corner of Drury Lane
‘You may well find that salvation is a long way off’
Said the actress.
‘I wouldn’t be so certain of that’ said the cocksure primate,
Adjusting his dress.
‘I’ve a meeting of General Synod at ,
Until then I could fit in a matinee performance,
If you’re available for afternoon delight’.
‘Ah sorry love you’ve asked to late,
I’ve John Prescott to fit in first and then
I’m appearing on Childrens BBC
And then I’ve an audition for Pop Idol.
Tell you what, say a prayer for me
To hope I find the time
To pop over to LambethPalace
Whilst your interest is still aroused.
Otherwise most days I’m standing on this corner.
But never on a Sunday
Samuel Boyse - London Poet
The Dissolute Poet by William Hogarth 1737
Whilst researching the published works of William Godwin, I came across a reference to the poet Samuel Boyse. People come to London for all kinds of reason; Samuel Boyse seemed to have made it here because he ran out of anywhere else to go. If he were still alive I would like to have met Sam for a drink one night. Samuel Boyse would be right up there.
Boyse, Samuel (1702/3?-1749), poet, son of Joseph Boyse (1660-1728), a dissenting minister, and his wife, Rachel (née Ibbetson), was born in Dublin and educated at a private school there. He was said to have been eighteen when he entered Glasgow University, where he was an undergraduate by February 1721, the year in which his elegy on the theologian John Anderson (1668–1721) was published. His father probably intended him for the Presbyterian ministry, but, under-age, he married a tradesman's daughter, Emilia Atchenson, and abandoned his studies. He returned to Dublin with his wife and her sister, where they sponged on Joseph until his death in November 1728. Samuel's young daughter died in 1726 and was mourned in his verse. He wrote a letter on liberty in James Arbuckle's Dublin Weekly Journal (11 February 1727).
Boyse went to Edinburgh, where his collection Translations and Poems (1731), dedicated to the countess of Eglinton, attracted over 250 subscribers. Some poems were ‘sacred to conjugal love’ and addressed to his wife in Ireland, though it was said that Boyse knew she was having affairs. Boyse found patrons among members of the Scottish nobility to whom he dedicated several separately published poems, but he was unresponsive to their offers of help. Shiels said that the duchess of Gordon gave Boyse an introduction for a post in the customs, but the day on which he should have presented himself was stormy, so he chose to lose the post rather than face the rain. This may be an embellishment of the fact that Boyse refused an offered post in the excise because its duties required ‘a Strength and Application beyond my Capacity’ and because he believed his education fitted him for more respectable callings, such as nobleman's secretary or librarian, or grand-tour tutor.
Debts drove Boyse from Edinburgh after 1734. He went to London, but failed to take advantage of introductions to influential men such as Alexander Pope and the future Lord Mansfield. Boyse's wife, with at least one child, had rejoined him, though the pair followed irregular courses to the extent that both were poxed by different partners. Begging letters, including many to eminent dissenters who were friends and admirers of Boyse's father, together with verse writing, much of it for magazines, provided the family's uncertain income. For instance: in 1737 The Olive, an Heroic Ode earned Boyse 10 guineas from its dedicatee, Sir Robert Walpole; in 1738 Robert Dodsley gave him only 2 guineas for translations from Voltaire; and in 1739 Boyse's follow-up begging letter to Sir Hans Sloane asked him to replace the bad shilling he had given to Mrs Boyse the night before. Shiels saw Boyse when ‘he had pawned his clothes and sat up in bed with the blanket wrapt about him, through which he had cut a hole large enough to admit his arm, and placing the paper upon his knee, scribbled in the best manner he could the verses he was obliged to make’. At this time, though, Boyse wrote his best work. His Deity (1739), a long poem in heroic couplets on the attributes of God, shows a firm religious conviction and an intellectual strength quite out of keeping with the disorder of its author's life.
Boyse published a second collection, Translations and Poems (1738) and continued as a hack. Throughout the summer of 1740 he was employed by EdwardCave in French translation, which his friend Samuel Johnson said he did well; in the following winter he could find only the slavish labour of index making. Then he modernized two of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales for 3d. a line in George Ogle's edition (1741). Most of Boyse's poems appeared fugitively in journals, but The Praise of Peace, translated from the Dutch (1742), and Albion's Triumph, on the victory at Dettingen (1743), achieved separate publication. In July 1742, arrested for debt, he wrote a desperate letter to Cave and obtained half a guinea on account for The Praise of Peace and ‘The Triumphs of Nature’ (on Stowe gardens). Cave paid Boyse by the hundred lines, later requiring him to produce what he called the ‘long hundred’; Boyse signed his work in the Gentleman's Magazine ‘Y’ or Alcaeus. Three begging letters of 1744 are printed in Notes and Queries (March 1986, 78–80). This was the pattern of his entire literary life. He squandered what little he had, so was still obliged to pawn his clothes from time to time, but was ingenious enough to invent a paper collar and cuffs to conceal his lack of a shirt in public. Johnson once collected money to redeem Boyse's clothes, which two days later were pawned again. ‘The sum (said Johnson) was collected by sixpences, at a time when to me sixpence was a serious consideration’.
Boyse had some connection with Reading, Berkshire. His Miscellaneous Works … for the Amusement of the Fair Sex was published there in 1740, and one of its light amatory poems was addressed to ‘The Reading Muses’. Emilia Boyse died in Reading some time between 1745 and June 1747, and was buried at the expense of the parish. Her widower, unable to afford mourning clothes, tied half a yard of black ribbon round the neck of the lap-dog that he carried about whenever he affected to be a man of fashion. He took to drink, but managed to compile an Historical Review of the period 1739 to 1745 and an Impartial History of the Jacobite rising of 1745 (published in Reading, 1747–8, by David Henry, Cave's brother-in-law). For writing and proof-correcting these substantial, rushed works he was paid half a guinea a week. On the title pages he is called ‘MA’, but there is no evidence that he ever took a degree.
Boyse returned to London and, some two years after the death of Emilia, married again. His second wife, a cutler's widow, originally from Dublin, was uneducated, but ‘well enough adapted to his taste’ and it seems that she induced him to live more regularly and to dress decently. He now expressed remorse for his former life in a poem called ‘The Recantation’. After a lingering phthisis, resulting from injuries sustained either from being run over by a coach when drunk or from being assaulted in the street by two or three soldiers, he died in lodgings near Shoe Lane, off Fleet Street, in May 1749. His friend Francis Stewart, Johnson's amanuensis, tried to collect money for a decent funeral, but failed because potential donors had all been sponged upon so often by Boyse during life; so he was buried as a pauper, only with the distinction that the burial service was separately performed over his corpse.
Boyse's last works were A Demonstration of the Existence of God (1749), translated from Fénelon, and a classical handbook, The New Pantheon, or, Fabulous History of the Heathen Gods, published posthumously in 1753 and often reprinted in a version revised and corrected by William Cooke (d. 1780). Boyse's Deity received wide publicity when Henry Fielding (who had commended it in The Champion, 12 February 1740) praised it again in the introduction to book 7 of Tom Jones (February 1749), prompting a new edition of the poem a month later. Boyse's friend, Dr William Cuming of Dorchester, said that he ‘was of a middle size, of a thin habit, slovenly in his dress, which was increased by his necessities, very near-sighted, and his hearing imperfect’. Shiels testifies that, besides his literary attainments, Boyse had a taste for painting and for music, and an extensive knowledge of heraldry.
Excerpt from the Dictionary of National Biography: Samuel Boyse 1702-1749
On the Dissolution of a Ministry by Hartley Coleridge
I was introduced to the works of Hartley Coleridge by Dave 'Two Bottle' Kelly at about the time that the Prince of Wales was getting married for the first time. I am sure if Hartley were alive today he would have been both a poet and an archaeologist.
I would have specifically created the position of 'DUA Poet' for him as to my mind Hartley has something to say on most subjects. Here is his view on electing new governments (you can choose who you think the 2005 equivalant of the Tories and the Whigs are)
Shout Britain, raise a joyful shout,
The Tyrant Tories all are out --
Deluded Britains -- cease your din --
For lo -- the scoundrel Whigs are in.
Couldn't find a picture of Hartley to accompany this entry... so here's Peter Mandelson