The Song Against Songs

The song of the sorrow of Melisande
Is a weary song and a dreary song,
The glory of Mariana’s grange
Had got into great decay,
The song of the Raven Never More
Has never been called a cheery song,
And the brightest things in Baudelaire
Are anything else but gay.

But who will write us a riding song,
Or a hunting song or a drinking song,
Fit for them that arose and rode
When day and the wine were red?
But bring me a quart of claret out,
And I will write you a clinking song,
A song of war and a song of wine
And a song to wake the dead.

The song of the fury of Fragolette
Is a florid song and a torrid song,
The song of the sorrow of Tara
Is sung to a harp unstrung,
The song of the cheerful Shropshire Lad
I consider a perfectly horrid song,
And the song of the happy Futurist
Is a song that can’t be sung.

But who will write us a riding song
Or a fighting song or a drinking song,
Fit for the fathers of you and me,
That knew how to think and thrive?
But the song of Beauty and Art and Love
Is simply an utterly stinking song,
To double you up and drag you down
And damn your soul alive.

— The Flying Inn (1914).

Published in: on March 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t prefer a war song to a love song.

  2. […] comes from this book: “The Rolling English Road”, “The Logical Vegetarian”, “The Song against Songs”, “The Song of Right and Wrong”, and “Wine and Water”, among others. […]

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