November Poem--Leigh Hunt--Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard

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After some fairly somber and serious poetry, it seemed time for a break, time for a bit of levity, even if Leigh Hunt didn't intend for it to be amusing:

Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard
Leigh Hunt

We, the Fairies, blithe and antic,
Of dimensions not gigantic,
Though the moonshine mostly keep us,
Oft in orchards frisk and peep us.

Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
Stolen kisses much completer,
Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
Stolen, stolen, be your apples.

When to bed the world are bobbing,
Then's the time for orchard-robbing;
Yet the fruit were scarce worth peeling,
Were it not for stealing, stealing.

Leigh Hunt is the poet who gave us "Abou Ben Adhem" among other pieces. During his time, a well-reputed poet, now nearly forgotten.

Later: Ms. Moss notes that likely Hunt did intend for it to be amusing. It's always so difficult to tell--but given the general tenor of some other poems she is probably right.

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Today's poem at Flos Carmeli is Leigh Hunt's Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard. I would be surprised if Hunt didn't intend that poem to be amusing, as well as these two: To a Fish You strange, astonished-looking, angle-faced, Dreary-mouthed,... Read More


Leigh-Hunt never really made out to be a very serious poet. His work was charming and clever and generally well-received, but even he didn't consider himself one of the Immortals. If you'd asked him, he might have described himself as a man of letters, a comfortable classification that took in anyone who interested himself in intellectual and artistic matters enough to write about them. "Jenny Kissed Me" is my favorite.

Dear Ms. Dashwood,

Thank you for the insight. I know of him more from his connections to other poets and a few minor pieces. So I think the categorization of "Man of Letters" and perhaps "supporter of the arts" (particularly poetry) would be both apt and fair.

Thanks again.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 3, 2003 7:30 AM.

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