[fixing some typos, according to 'Critical Writings':]
Gas From a Burner by James Joyce (1912)
Ladies and gents, you are here assembled To hear why earth and heaven trembled Because of the black and sinister arts Of an Irish writer in foreign parts. He sent me a book ten years ago. I read it a hundred times or so, Backwards and forwards, down and up, Through both the ends of a telescope. I printed it all to the very last word But by the mercy of the Lord The darkness of my mind was rent And I saw the writer's foul intent. But I owe a duty to Ireland: I held her honour in my hand, This lovely land that always sent Her writers and artists to banishment And in a spirit of Irish fun Betrayed her own leaders, one by one. 'Twas Irish humour, wet and dry, Flung quicklime into Parnell's eye; 'Tis Irish brains that save from doom The leaky barge of the Bishop of Rome For everyone knows the Pope can't belch Without the consent of Billy Walsh. O Ireland my first and only love Where Christ and Caesar are hand and glove! O lovely land where the shamrock grows! (Allow me, ladies, to blow my nose) To show you for strictures I don't care a button I printed the poems of Mountainy Mutton And a play he wrote (you've read it I'm sure) Where they talk of 'bastard', 'bugger' and 'whore' And a play on the Word and Holy Paul And some woman's legs that I can't recall Written by Moore, a genuine gent That lives on his property's ten per cent: I printed mystical books in dozens: I printed the table-book of Cousins Though (asking your pardon) as for the verse 'Twould give you a heartburn on your arse: I printed folklore from North and South By Gregory of the Golden Mouth: I printed poets, sad, silly and solemn: I printed Patrick What-do-you-Colm: I printed the great John Milicent Synge Who soars above on an angel's wing In the playboy shift that he pinched as swag From Maunsel's manager's travelling-bag. But I draw the line at that bloody fellow That was over here dressed in Austrian yellow, Spouting Italian by the hour To O'Leary Curtis and John Wyse Power And writing of Dublin, dirty and dear, In a manner no blackamoor printer could bear. Shite and onions! Do you think I'll print The name of the Wellington Monument, Sydney Parade and Sandymount tram, Downes's cakeshop and Williams's jam? I'm damned if I do-- I'm damned to blazes! Talk about _Irish Names of Places!_ It's a wonder to me, upon my soul, He forgot to mention Curly's Hole. No, ladies, my press shall have no share in So gross a libel on Stepmother Erin. I pity the poor-- that's why I took A red-headed Scotchman to keep my book. Poor sister Scotland! Her doom is fell; She cannot find any more Stuarts to sell. My conscience is fine as Chinese silk: My heart is as soft as buttermilk. Colm can tell you I made a rebate Of one hundred pounds on the estimate I gave him for his Irish Review. I love my country-- by herrings I do! I wish you could see what tears I weep When I think of the emigrant train and ship. That's why I publish far and wide My quite illegible railway guide, In the porch of my printing institute The poor and deserving prostitute Plays every night at catch-as-catch-can With her tight-breeched British artilleryman And the foreigner learns the gift of the gab From the drunken draggletail Dublin drab. Who was it said: Resist not evil? I'll burn that book, so help me devil. I'll sing a psalm as I watch it burn And the ashes I'll keep in a one-handled urn. I'll penance do with farts and groans Kneeling upon my marrowbones. This very next lent I will unbare My penitent buttocks to the air And sobbing beside my printing press My awful sin I will confess. My Irish foreman from Bannockburn Shall dip his right hand in the urn And sign crisscross with reverent thumb _Memento homo_ upon my bum.
a few notes: Mountainy Mutton = Joseph Campbell (not the mythologist) Moore's play: The Apostle Cousin's table-book: "Etain the Beloved"? Maunsel's manager = George Roberts (a redheaded Ulster Scot)
-- To the Sirens first shalt thou come, who bewitch all men... I edit the Net: <URL:http://www.robotwisdom.com/> "...frequented by the digerati" --The New York Times