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Verse > A.E. Housman > A Shropshire Lad
A. E. Housman (1859–1936).  A Shropshire Lad.  1896.

You are watching: Terence, this is stupid stuff

LXII. Terence, this is stupid stuff
‘TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:
You eat her victuals quick enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To view the rate you drink her beer.
But oh, an excellent Lord, the city you make,        5
It provides a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, ’tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as eliminated the cow.        10
Pretty friendship ’tis come rhyme
Your friends to death prior to their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipeline a song to run to, lad.’
  Why, if ’tis dance you would be,        15
There’s brisker pipes 보다 poetry.
Say, for what to be hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton developed on Trent?
Oh countless a peer the England brews
Livelier liquor 보다 the Muse,        20
And malt does more than Milton can
To justification God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it damages to think:
Look into the pewter pot        25
To check out the world as the world’s not.
And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past:
The mischief is that ’twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left mine necktie God knows where,        30
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and also quarts the Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And ns myself a sterling lad;
And under in lovely muck I’ve lain,        35
Happy till i woke again.
Then I observed the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was every a lie;
The world, it to be the old civilization yet,
I to be I, my things were wet,        40
And nothing currently remained come do
But begin the game anew.
  Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, however much less an excellent than ill,
And when the sun and moon endure        45
Luck’s a chance, yet trouble’s sure,
I’d confront it together a wise male would,
And train for ill and not for good.
’Tis true, the stuff I lug for sale
Is not so fast a brew together ale:        50
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung the in a weary land.
But take it it: if the smack is sour,
The much better for the embittered hour;
It should do an excellent to heart and head        55
When your soul is in my soul’s stead;
And I will certainly friend you, if ns may,
In the dark and also cloudy day.
  There to be a king reigned in the East:
There, when queens will sit to feast,        60
They get their fill prior to they think
With poisoned meat and also poisoned drink.
He gathered all the springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence come more,        65
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, jug sound,
Sate the king as soon as healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;        70
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink that up:
They shook, castle stared as white’s their shirt:
Them it was your poison hurt.
—I tell the tale that ns heard told.

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Mithridates, he died old.
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