Saturday

The horse and mule live 30 years ...

...
And never knows of wines and beers.
The goat and sheep at 20 die
Without a taste of scotch or rye.
The cow drinks water by the ton
And at 18 is mostly done.
The dog at 15 cashes in
Without the aid of rum or gin.
The modest, sober, bone-dry hen
Lays eggs for noggs and dies at 10.
But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men
Survive three-score years and 10.
And some of us...though mighty few
Stay pickled 'til we're 92.

14 comments:

meself said...

THANK YOU,for posting this poem,ESPECIALLY, since you've given it to me, in it's entirety! I Had a beer mug with PARTIAL inscription of of this poem .Do you know the name of the the Author who wrote this particular piece. Thanks again. MESELF

William M. Dowd said...

As is the case with so many old quotes, poems and free verse, the origin is lost to history, or even hotly disputed when credit is given.

That's the case with "The Horse and Mule," although we know it has been around for generations. It is quoted, and credited to that prolific writer by the name of "Anonymous," in the respected anthology "Verse and Worse" by the English writer Arnold Silcock.

You can read some interesting research and discussion on the origins of various bits of music and poetry on the BBC's "Quote ... Unquote" here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been looking for it for ages.

D. Boyd said...

Interesting! I was trying to remember the words to this... it was on a plaque in my house when I was a kid. The version I knew was very slightly different, and had two extra verses: 'The cat in milk and water soaks and then in 12 short years it croaks', and preceding 'sinful, gin-full, "All animals are strictly dry, they sinless live and swiftly die." Thanks for this... I couldn't for the life of me remember the line about the dog!

D Taylor said...

This appeared in a book called "Verse and Worse" (1970s?) and had the extra lines mentioned by D Boyd!
Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

the author was william shakespeare

Greg Buchanan said...

Awesome, but missing a verse:

The cat in milk and water soaks
And after 12 short years she croaks

Richard Brown said...

Thanks for posting, I saw this poem in a slightly different form on the wall of a pub in Cornwall

Anonymous said...

I have tbat hanging on my wall. Got it from my grandfather. Its been around a long time

Anonymous said...

https://flic.kr/p/pNk2JU

Anonymous said...

https://flic.kr/p/pNk2JU

Anonymous said...

MY version has - between the dog and the hen:
The cat in milk and water soaks
And then in 12 short years it croaks

Anonymous said...

Like it pub in Cornwall bucket of blood Hayle Towans

Louis V said...

Thanks a lot for the dog's verse. Never heard or read that one before. Saw it on the wall at Federal Jack, arestaurant and micro-brewery in Kennebunkport, Maine, USA. Found it hilarious and so true.
Louis V