Sunday, 2 June 2019

Liturgy For Thomas Hardy's Birthday (1840)

Psalm the Hundred-and-Ninth, to the tune of Wiltshire: verses ten to fifteen 

Yokel: It's that Thomas Hardy's Birthday then.

Other Yokel: Aye, same as last year.

All Yokels Together: And the one before.

Yokel: He'm still dead then.

Other Yokel: Aye, same as last year.

All Yokels Together: Dead and gone, as we all shall be.

Yokel: Shall us down to the Quiet Woman for a drap o' summat? And then a pretty drap o'tipple at Peter's Finger?

Other Yokel: And afterwards ride the Skimmington round young Farfrae's house?

All Yokels Together: Wi' all my heart.

Yokel: And shall us collect Christian Cantle on the way?

Other Yokel: No, he've eloped wi' that Miss Fancy Day.

All Yokels Together: Ah, the shame. And she new-married to Dick Dewey.

Yokel: But what's Dick thinking?

Other Yokel: He've bunked up with Tamsin Yeobright.

All Yokels Together: And Diggory Venn the Reddleman have gone off with a milkmaid.

Yokel: So shall we bring Granfer Cantle instead?

Other Yokel: No. His ear's fallen off o' the ague.

All Yokels Together: What? Again?

Yokel: It's a shame young Thomas Hardy's dead though.

Other Yokel: He probably wrote a poem about it.

All Yokels Together: 'A were like that. Always writin' poetry. Bit weird.

Hymn: Haste to the Skimmington

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  1. This pastiche of the Mayor of Casterbridge is uncomfortably close to the (suicidally depressing) original.

  2. Never read any Hardy until I started visiting this blog.

    Perhaps I should now desist, given this liturgy.


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