Off topic: An old poem
Thread poster: sylver

sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:52
English to French
Apr 23, 2003

Author is unknown (to me at least) but the content would deserve a bit more fame as well. icon_smile.gif

\"There is so much bad in the best of us

And so much good in the worst of us

That it ill behooves any of us

To talk about the rest of us\"

PS 1: Behooves=to be morally necessary or proper

PS 2: Those who think I ought to ponder on that one too are certainly right. icon_wink.gif


Pernille Chapman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:52
Member (2004)
English to Danish
+ ...
James Truslow Adams Apr 23, 2003

- is the author, at least according to this link:

Most other sites, like yourself, quote this as \"Author unknown\" or similar, so the above may be doubtful. I\'ll leave it to you to do any further research, if you so wish icon_smile.gif
Thanks for sharing this, anyway.


two2tango  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Gossip Apr 23, 2003

It was John Brantingham talking about gossip, according to:

Curiously, the same page quotes the same phrase a few lines down as the words of Robert Louis Stevenson.

I also found there the following on gossip:

And there \'s a lust in man no charm can tame

Of loudly publishing our neighbour\'s shame;

On eagles\' wings immortal scandals fly,

While virtuous actions are but born and die.

Stephen Harvey (circa 1627):

Juvenal, Satire ix

[ This Message was edited by: two2tango on 2003-04-23 12:18]


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:52
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
More gossip poems Apr 23, 2003


by Ogden Nash.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip

In the course of a cosy little chat,

And I often wonder why

My neighbors all imply

I’m a pussy, I’m a tabby, I’m a cat.

Mrs. Dooley murmured “Miaow!” at me this morning;

Mrs. Cohen would have cut me if she could;

But my feelings aren’t so filmy

That names are going to kill me,

And a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip;

I am pleased with Mr. Moffat’s double life.

It’s provocative to watch

Mr. Taylor guzzle scotch;

I wonder if he knows about his wife?

The sheriff wants a word with Mrs. Walker;

She doesn’t pay her bills the way she should.

Yet I hear from several sources

That she gambles on the horses –

Oh, a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip;

It seems to lend a savor to my tea;

The deplorable mistakes

That everybody makes

Are calories and vitamins to me.

If I tell you Mrs. Drew is off to Reno,

You are not to breathe a word, that’s understood;

For I said to Mrs. Drew

That I heard it all from you –

Oh, a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip,

But for scandal or for spite there’s no excuse;

To think of Mrs. Page

Telling lies about my age!

Well, her tongue is like her morals, rather loose.

Mrs. Murgatroyd eats opium for breakfast,

And claims I’m running after Mr. Wood;

That sort of vicious slander

Arouses all my dander –

But a little bit of gossip does me good.


by W.H. Auden

At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end,

The delicious story is ripe to tell to the intimate friend;

Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire;

Still waters run deep, my dear, there’s never smoke without fire.

Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links,

Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks,

Under the look of fatigue, the attack of migraine and the sigh,

There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye

For the clear voice suddenly singing, high up in the convent wall,

The scent of the elder bushes, the sporting prints in the hall,

The croquet matches in summer, the handshake, the cough, the kiss,

There is always a wicked secret, a private reason for this.

[ This Message was edited by: jdoughty on 2003-04-23 17:00]


George Hopkins
Local time: 23:52
Swedish to English
Thank you all Apr 23, 2003

Everybody has their faults, except me.


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