Re: OT: Dutch/Junk/Dim S(ui)m
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 11:55|
Roger Mills scripsit:
> Hmm, close. Knew I could count on you! I suppose the version I heard was
> somebody's adaptation-- it was _all_ about the Dutch, didn't mention the
On further investigation the second couplet seems to have been Lord
Canning's addition to a traditional saying of the English, sometimes
with "business" instead of "commerce". I have not been able to find any
quatrain of which it forms the *second* couplet, however; is it possible
that you heard only the couplet and misremembered it as being a quatrain?
The couplet was quoted seriously on the floor of the House of Lords by
Lord Simon of Highbury (shame be upon him) as recently as 1998.
Almost as bad, he changed "commerce" to "competition" and ruined the
Here lies the Christian, judge, and poet Peter,
Who broke the laws of God and man and meter.
It was dreary and wearisome. Cold clammy winter still held way in this
forsaken country. The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark
greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed
up in the mists like ragged shadows of long-forgotten summers.
--"The Passage of the Marshes" http://www.ccil.org/~cowan