The Poetry of Money

Spare Cash - Steve Woods

It is our intention to at least occasionally bring you high-quality writing. Ergo, today we deliver a piece of poem about money by 19th Century English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough, sister of early English suffragist, Anne Clough. We promise you'll like it.

The below is an extract from Dipsychus, Part II, Scene II.

If this isn't enough, you can read the complete work here.

As I sat at the café, I said to myself,
They may talk as they please about what they call pelf
They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking
But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking,
    How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    How pleasant it is to have money.

I sit at my table en grand seigneur,
And when I have done, throw a crust to the poor;
Not only the pleasure, one's self, of good living,
But also the pleasure of now and then giving.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

It was but last winter I came up to town,
But already I'm getting a little renown;
I make new acquaintance where'er I appear;
I am not too shy, and have nothing to fear.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

I drive through the streets, and I care not a d—n;
The people they stare, and they ask who I am;
And if I should chance to run over a cad,
I can pay for the damage if ever so bad.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

We stroll to our box and look down on the pit,
And if it weren't low should be tempted to spit;
We loll and we talk until people look up,
And when it's half over we go out to sup.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

The best of the tables and the best of the fare—
And as for the others, the devil may care;
It isn't our fault if they dare not afford
To sup like a prince and be drunk as a lord.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

We sit at our tables and tipple champagne;
Ere one bottle goes, comes another again;
The waiters they skip and they scuttle about,
And the landlord attends us so civilly out.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

It was but last winter I came up to town,
But already I'm getting a little renown;
I get to good houses without much ado,
Am beginning to see the nobility too.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

O dear! what a pity they ever should lose it!
For they are the gentry that know how to use it;
So grand and so graceful, such manners, such dinners,
But yet, after all, it is we are the winners.
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    So pleasant it is to have money.

Thus I sat at my table en grand seigneur,
And when I had done threw a crust to the poor;
Not only the pleasure, one's self, of good eating.
But also the pleasure of now and then treating,
    So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho
    So pleasant it is to have money.

They may talk as they please about what they call pelf,
And how one ought never to think of one's self,
And how pleasures of thought surpass eating and drinking—
My pleasure of thought is the pleasure of thinking
    How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    How pleasant it is to have money.

(Written in Venice, but for all parts true,
'Twas not a crust I gave him, but a sous.)

A gondola here, and a gondola there,
'Tis the pleasantest fashion of taking the air.
To right and to left; stop, turn, and go yonder,
And let us repeat, o'er the tide as we wander,
    How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
    How pleasant it is to have money.