Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Drinking Song

I

On Sussex hills where I was bred.
When lanes in autumn rains are red.
Where Arun tumbles in his bed,
And busy great gusts go by;
When branch is bare in Burton Glen
And Bury Hill is whitening, then
I drink strong ale with gentlemen;
Which nobody can deny, deny.
Deny, deny, deny, deny.
Which nobody can deny!

II

In half-November off I go.
To push my face against the snow,
And watch the winds wherever they blow,
Because my heart is high;
Till I settle me down in Steyning to sing
Of the women I met in my wandering,
And of all that I mean to do in the spring,
Which nobody can deny, deny.
Deny, deny, deny, deny,
Which nobody can deny!

II

Though times be rude and weather be rough.
And ways be foul and fortune tough.
We are of the stout South Country stuff,
That never can have good ale enogh,
And do this chorus cry!
From Crowboro' Top to Ditching Down,
From Hurstpierpoint to Arundel Town,
The girls are plump and the ale is brown:
Which nobody can deny, deny,
Deny, deny, deny, deny!
If he does he tells a lie!

~Hilaire Belloc: from The Four Men; A Farrago.



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