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Personal Choice 76























Tarantella


Do you remember an Inn,

Miranda?

Do you remember an Inn?

And the tedding and the spreading

Of the straw for a bedding,

And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,

And the wine that tasted of tar?

And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers

(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?

Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,

Do you remember an Inn?

And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers

Who hadn't got a penny,

And who weren't paying any,

And the hammer at the doors and the din?

And the hip! hop! hap!

Of the clap

Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl

Of the girl gone chancing,

Glancing,

Dancing,

Backing and advancing,

Snapping of the clapper to the spin

Out and in--

And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!

Do you remember an Inn,

Miranda?

Do you remember an Inn?


Never more;

Miranda,

Never more.

Only the high peaks hoar;

And Aragon a torrent at the door.

No sound

In the walls of the halls where falls

The tread

Of the feet of the dead to the ground,

No sound:

But the boom

Of the far waterfall like doom.


Hilaire Belloc


Hilaire Belloc (1870 - 1953) was a Franco-English writer and historian of the early twentieth century. Belloc was also an orator, poet, sailor, satirist, writer of letters, soldier, and political activist. His Catholic faith had a strong effect on his works. Belloc became a naturalised British subject in 1902 while retaining his French citizenship.























One of the elements of poetry that first excited me as a child was the ‘sound’ the words made, an early exposure to the wonder of onomatopoeia. As a teacher I have used Belloc’s poem to give perhaps one of the best examples of this device.













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