Friday, December 12, 2008

Flattened Time In Barry Lyndon, VII

Toole, Farmer Poet, later wed to Brown Bess
Born Owenbeg, later renamed County Sligo, c. 1727

Died 1763, of excessive hemorrhaging after a fall
from the seaward slopes at Mullaghmore


Potter Tim said to me
Toole, I’m told by more than two

That your wiles don’t take too well
w/your wife, g’bless her,

so that she beats you
behind shutters after the pig’s been put to rest

Toole, tell me, is it not untrue your woman
Keeps hours w/a jab on your head?

G’bless her soul, I said,
And gave him one as hard as any she ever did


An egg-sucking dog saw me coming down the road
And said to me, Toole,

How fared your chickens
This winter’s cold? How stands the grand Toole’s estate?

I said to him, scoundrel, you keep off my coop
If you want some eggs,

I’ve got a pair here for you—
Before my woman came out to slog me

Again for discussing our chickens w/a dog


What good’s a day w/o a dreg of grog?
No pig’s kept from his mud

No duck from the pond
Give me what I love and leave Toole to Toole's love


Poor Cow—the cost to keep you
Now outweights the worth of your return

In ground chuck—what’s loneliness, hard luck,
Trouble, disease or disgust

Compounded against you now?
What amount of worry could compare

To the crude stupidity in a happy calf’s heart?
The lodge of life in your lung

Is a summer apart from a bowl of stodge—
And I cannot particularly complain, I will prepare

You w/a potato and some grog—the Earth
Gives us so much—Poor Cow


Toole’s bag of flesh and bone
Has no need of any salve

Give me a dreg and a pig’s foot
And you’ll see me as soon afoot on the field

Toole, appearing in Barry Lyndon:

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