As promised on June 16th, here is another one of A. E. Housman's little-known light verses:
'In the back back garden, Thomasina
Did you recently vociferate a squeal?'
'Oh, I trod up an amphisbaena,
And it bit me on the toe and on the heel.
Yes, it bit me (do you know)
With its tail upon the toe,
While it bit me with its head upon the heel!'
'How excessively distracting and confusing.
Pray what, Thomasina, did you do?'
'Oh, I took the garden scissors I was using
And I snipped it irretrievably in two.
And it split with such a scrunch
That I shall not want my lunch.
And if you had heard the noise no more would you.'
'And where, Thomasina, are the sections
Of the foe that you courageously repressed?'
'Oh, they ran away in opposite directions,
And they vanished in the east and in the west.
And the way they made me squint,
It would melt a heart of flint,
And I think that I will go upstairs and rest.'
An amphisbaena is a mythical snake with two heads and no tail. The name is Greek for 'goes both ways'.Posted by Dr. Weevil at July 09, 2002 10:49 PM