(27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953 / La Celle-Saint-Cloud)

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.

by Hilaire Belloc

Other poems of BELLOC (101)

Comments (40)

I learnt this poem at school when poetry used to be taught and enjoyed by all a pity it is not encouraged by teachers nowadays
This is very well developed. It must never run out the taste of time
I learnt this in Primary school, word perfect, and can still recite it word perfect at age 70, so it obviously stuck in my mind
Wonderful poem. Abysmal recital.
Tarantella, a Southern Italian fast paced folk dance is far North in the Pyrenees. Belloc uses the dance as a metaphor for life. Could see this poem becoming popular at funerals.
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