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H i l a i r   B E L L O C

(1870-1953)

***

The world's a stage. The trifling entrance fee
Is paid (by proxy) to the registrar.
The Orchestra is very loud and free
But plays no music in particular.
They do not print a programme, that I know.
The cast is large. There isn't any plot.
The acting of the piece is far below
The very worst of modernistic rot.

The only part about it I enjoy
Is what was called in English the Foyay.
There will I stand apart awhile and toy
With thought, and set my cigarette alight;
And then -- without returning to the play --
On with my coat and out into the night.

These two poems come from "The Bad Child's Book of Beasts" (1896)
and "More Beasts for Worse Children" (1897). I have them here
for two reasons. First - I'm an Aries (or sheep... of the
Ovine race. ;) and I was born in the year of Tiger. Second -
these are perfect jems, aren't they? :)

The Welsh Mutton

The Cambrian Welsh or Mountain Sheep
Is of the Ovine race.
His conversation is not deep,
But then -- observe his face.

The Tiger

The Tiger, on the other hand, is kittenish and mild,
He makes a pretty playfellow for any little child;
And mothers of large families (who claim to common sense)
Will find a Tiger well repays the trouble and expense.

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