Thursday, October 30, 2008


I just remembered where I came across it.
Benjamin Britten set it to music. It's a poem by Thomas Hardy. Here's the weird thing about Britten - to me, that is. I find the music so-so. Generally too loud and in your face and not light enough. But I find his choice of poetry (and writing and writers in general) exquisite.

So here you go:

Wagtail and Baby (A Satire)

A baby watched a ford, whereto
A wagtail came for drinking;
A blaring bull went wading through,
The wagtail showed no shrinking.

A stallion splashed his way across,
The birdie nearly sinking;
He gave his plumes a twitch and toss,
And held his own unblinking.

Next saw the baby round the spot
A mongrel slowly slinking;
The wagtail gazed, but faltered not
In dip and sip and prinking.

A perfect gentleman then neared;
The wagtail, in a winking,
With terror rose and disappeared;
The baby fell a-thinking.

1 comment:

Karenn said...

Randall Thompson (I liked performing and listening to his compositions better than Britten's), composed music for poems by Robert Frost. At least one involved a bird, but it's been so many years since I sang it...I can't remember the details.