Would that I had £300,000
Invested in some strong security;
A Midland Country House with formal grounds,
A Town House, and a House beside the sea,
And one in Spain, and one in Normandy,
And Friends innumerable at my call
And youth serene – and underneath it all
One steadfast, passionate flame to nurture me.
Then would I chuck for good my stinking trade
Of writing tosh at 1s. 6d. a quire!
And soar like young Bellerophon arrayed
High to the filmy Heavens of my desire ....
But that's all over. Here's the world again.
Bring me the Blotter. Fill the fountain-pen.
So I read that with no problems of rhyme or scansion, and then it struck me. I'm of a nationality and age to know how the first and tenth lines should be read, but do younger people and not-British people have to stop and think about it.
Also puzzling. I googled for the text to save having to type it out and found it given as Sonnet 34 though my copy of the Collected Verse, Penguin, 1958, has it as Sonnet XXIX.
If I had 30 million P
Invested in security;
to bakeries I'd make the rounds
and then I'd weigh £500
So, no trouble with the first line. What about "Of writing tosh at 1s. 6d. a quire!"
I seem to recall it was said as "One and Six"?
It was indeed.
I am not-british but i am also not-young
That's a new one to me - the Belloc - it's lovely. I suppose I've reached an age where things I understand perfectly (like 1/6) will be the subject of footnotes in poetry books. I shall choose to feel knowledgeable rather than old!
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2008 06:09AM by marian222.
I know how to pronounce the first and tenth lines, but not how to pronounce the author's first name. I've heard it pronounced "Hill-air," "Hillary," and "Hill-airy." Do any of you know the correct pronunciation?
It's spelt Raymond Luxury-Yacht, but it's pronounced Throat-Warbler Mangrove
I've only ever heard it as "Hill-air" After all, he was born French.