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Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò

(The Garden by Joan Miró, 1893-1983,
Spanish painter, ceramist and sculptor)

Sometimes true love, for the very best of reasons, does not end in Happily Ever After.


On the Coast of Coromandel
Where the early pumpkins blow,
In the middle of the woods
Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
Two old chairs, and half a candle, ─
One old jug without a handle, ─
These were all his worldly goods:
In the middle of the woods,
These were all the worldly goods,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

Once, among the Bong-trees walking
Where the early pumpkins blow,
To a little heap of stones
Came the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
There he heard a Lady talking,
To some milk-white Hens of Dorking, ─
’Tis the lady Jingly Jones!
“On that little heap of stones
Sits the Lady Jingly Jones!”
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

“Lady Jingly! Lady Jingly!
Sitting where the pumpkins blow,
Will you come and be my wife?”
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
“I am tired of living singly, ─
On this coast so wild and shingly ─
I’m a-weary of my life:
If you’ll come and be my wife,
Quite serene would be my life!” ─
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

“On this Coast of Coromandel,
Shrimps and watercresses grow,
Prawns are plentiful and cheap,”
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
“You shall have my chairs and candle,
And my jug without a handle! ─
Gaze upon the rolling deep
(Fish is plentiful and cheap)
As the sea, my love is deep!”
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

Lady Jingly answered sadly,
And her tears began to flow, ─
Your proposal comes too late,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
I would be your wife most gladly!
(Here she twirled her fingers madly)
But in England I've a mate!
Yes! you’ve asked me far too late,
For in England I’ve a mate,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!”

“Mr. Jones ─ (his name is Handel, ─
Handel Jones, Esquire, & Co.)
Dorking fowls delights to send,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
Keep, oh! keep your chairs and candle,
And your jug without a handle, ─
I can merely be your friend!
─ Should my Jones more Dorkings send,
I will give you three, my friend!
“Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
“Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!”

“Though you've such a tiny body,
And your head so large doth grow, ─
Though your hat may blow away,
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
Though you're such a Hoddy Doddy ─
Yet a wish that I could modi-
fy the words I needs must say!
Will you please to go away?
That is all I have to say ─
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!
Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!”

Down the slippery slopes of Myrtle,
Where the early pumpkins blow,
To the calm and silent sea
Fled the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
There, beyond the Bay of Gurtle,
Lay a large and lively Turtle, ─
“You're the Cove,” he said, “for me
On your back beyond the sea,
Turtle, you shall carry me!”
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

Through the silent-roaring ocean
Did the Turtle swiftly go;
Holding fast upon his shell
Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
With a sad primeval motion
Towards the sunset isles of Boshen
Still the Turtle bore him well.
Holding fast upon his shell,
“Lady Jingly Jones, farewell!”
Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

From the Coast of Coromandel,
Did that Lady never go;
On that heap of stones she mourns
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.
On that Coast of Coromandel,
In his jug without a handle,
Still she weeps, and daily moans;
On that little hep of stones
To her Dorking Hens she moans,
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.

~ Edward Lear (1812-1888), English artist, poet and writer of limericks and other nonsense


Barbara Sullivan Mangogna said...

What fun! I'm going to print that one & read it to my grandson! Maybe this was Dr. Seuss's inspiration?
"One word frees us from all the weight and pain of life. . . that is love." St. Madeline Sophie

Barbara Sullivan Mangogna said...

Pardon me: that quote was from Sophocles. The quotation from St. Madeline Sophie is "Let love be y7our life and soul for all eternity." Barbara