12 September 2008


This little poem came to my attention when it was quoted by a character (the Hon Galahad Threepwood) in a book I read recently (Heavy Weather, by P G Wodehouse). I'd heard the first two lines before, but had no idea how the rest of the poem went, or who the author might be. It turned out to have been written by English poet Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), and it is said that "Jenny" was Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of Thomas Carlyle.

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.

Of course, a poem like that just begs for parody, and Bruce Newling (inventor of the McWhirtle) seems to have provided one:
Jenny kissed me when we met.
She, adorned in silk and satin,
Told me, "That is all you get;
And as you leave, don't let the cat in."
Retrospection makes me glad:
Dread disease perhaps thus missed me.
God knows what I might have had
Had Jenny more than merely kissed me.

Click on the "Poetry Friday" button at left for this week's round-up, which is hosted by (ahem) Jennie at Biblio File. (Susan, of Susan Writes, has done a round-up of previous round-ups here.)

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