Bitching Brew

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A witty couplet. (Knock me down!)

I bought a few presents for myself over the weekend: books, CDs and DVDs. There's been too little self-love recently. One of my gifts was a Modern Library edition - Selected Poetry of Lord Byron. I know English departments oft scorn the man, but I trust my own judgment above the tradesmen of pseudo-philosophy. For example, I once read a remark to the effect that a world which has had its Dostoevsky has no need of a Kundera. Hyperbole perhaps, but rubbish still. Though Dostoevsky is the best novellist I've ever read, I'm hardly going to give up reading other authors as a result.

Apologies - I digress. In my Byron volume I came across a verse which amused - a verse which decades of undergraduates must wish they'd written. I refer especially to the last couplet.

Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,
In aid of others' let me shine;
And when, alas! our brains are gone,
What nobler substitute than wine?


The poem itself was titled Lines Inscribed upon a Cup Formed from a Skull, which tells you a good deal about Byron, in truth!

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