31 JANUARY 1947, Page 16


SIR,—As always, the Swan of Avon covers the thoughts of all men of all opinions on all occasions.

On bad luck with an egg : " Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

On foodstuffs lost in official strikes: " And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, And then from hour to hour we rot and rot."

On cigarette cuts:

" 0 thou weed,

Who art so lovely'fair and smell' st so sweet That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne'er been born! "

On a prophecy come true:

" When brewers mar their malt with water ; Then shall the realm of Albion Come to great confusion."

On work : " Thou art not for the fashion of these times, Where none will sweat but for promotion, And having that, do choke their service up Even with the having."

Mr. Shinwell on a dead furnace: " I know not where is that Promethean heat That can thy light relume."

On the effect of the weather: " What dreadful noise of staters in mine ears! "

On an empty grate : "Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!

Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!

On a heavy Government Majority: " 0 it is.. excellent To have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant."

On an application for a building licence:

" The rest is silence."

On opposition to nationalisation: "This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land, Dear for her reputation through the world, Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it, Like to a tenement or pelting farm."

On support for nationalisation: " Diseases desperate grown By desperate appliance are relieved, Or not at all."

On a mood of studied optimism: " Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward To what they were before."

Woodfield, Kidderminster.