Time, you thief

In response to yesterday’s comment, I too memorized Jabberwocky in high school. I remember that it was a weekend afternoon when I was fifteen, and I was hanging around at home with nothing to do except browse through a book of old poems. That day I also memorized The Walrus and the Carpenter and Leigh Hunt’s Jenny Kissed Me. And I vowed that I would memorize at least one poem a day.

Well, I can still recite all three of those poems word for word, but I never made good on my vow. To this day, those are the only three poems that I can recite by heart. Rather sad, actually. I assume that anyone reading this knows about The Walrus and the Carpenter, but for those of you who don’t know Jenny Kissed Me, Leigh Hunt was a minor romantic poet – a good friend of Shelley, Byron and Keats who was never quite up to their level. He wrote this poem to the wife of his friend Thomas Carlyle. I’ve read that it captures an actual moment between them. And really, what more could you ask of a poem?

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in.

Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add
Jenny kissed me.

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