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Shake, Mulleary And Go-Ethe

I

I have a bookcase, which is what
Many much better men have not.
There are no books inside, for books,
I am afraid, might spoil its looks.
But I've three busts, all second-hand,
Upon the top. You understand
I could not put them underneath -
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

II

Shake was a dramatist of note;
He lived by writing things to quote,
He long ago put on his shroud:
Some of his works are rather loud.
His bald-spot's dusty, I suppose.
I know there's dust upon his nose.
I'll have to give each nose a sheath -
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

III

Mulleary's line was quite the same;
He has more hair, but far less fame.
I would not from that fame retrench -
But he is foreign, being French.
Yet high his haughty head he heaves,
The only one done up in leaves,
They're rather limited on wreath -
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

IV

Go-ethe wrote in the German tongue:
He must have learned it very young.
His nose is quite a butt for scoff,
Although an inch of it is off.
He did quite nicely for the Dutch;
But here he doesn't count for much.
They all are off their native heath -
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

V

They sit there, on their chests, as bland
As if they were not second-hand.
I do not know of what they think,
Nor why they never frown or wink,
But why from smiling they refrain
I think I clearly can explain:
They none of them could show much teeth -
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

poem by from Puck (1880)Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Dan Costinaş
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Dan Costinas said on 22 July 2021:
(*)
“V. Hugo Dusenbury” was a pseudonym for Henry Cuyler Bunner, poet, novelist, and editor of Puck magazine in 1880.
Last but not least: “Shake, Mulleary and Go-Ethe” are, of course, William Shakespeare, Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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