Tag Archives: poetry

Matthew 5:45

Looking out of the window at present, I am reminded of a verse I learned in my childhood:

The rain, it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella.
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust’s pinched the just’s umbrella.

It’s rather pleasing to discover, investigating it now, that the verse comes from Lord Bowen, a notable lawyer of the mid-19th century. (There are a few variations on the precise wording of the last line, but I still like my mother’s version above.)

Bowen had many achievements in his life, both professional and literary, and I hope he won’t mind that I remember him for this rather than his translations of Virgil.

Today

It occurs to me that if I were to suffer a minor injury today, perhaps through careless use of a carrot-peeler or (more likely) a soldering iron, it would have the compensation that thereafter I could strip my sleeve and show my scars and say, “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day!”

Almost seems worth it. Especially if some of my friends would agree to hold their manhoods cheap in consequence…

Twaintieth Century

After a hundred years in a vault, Mark Twain’s autobiography is soon to be published. Memo to self: remember to achieve something significant enough in your life that anyone will be interested in reading about you a century later…

It sounds, though, as if the renewed interest in him may be a mixed blessing, which reminds me of a little poem I learned as a child:

Lives of Great Men all remind us
As we o’er their pages turn
That we too may leave behind us
Letters that we ought to burn.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser