Poetry: Proverbial Ballade

Prover­bial Ballade
–Wendy Cope

Fine words won’t turn the icing pink;
A wild rose has no employees;
Who boils his socks will make them shrink;
Who catch­es cold is sure to sneeze.
Who has two legs must wash two knees;
Who breaks the egg will find the yolk;
Who locks his door will need his keys-
So say I and so say the folk.

You can’t shave with a tiddlywink,
Nor make red wine from gar­den peas,
Nor show a blind­worm how to blink,
Nor teach an old racoon Chinese.
The juici­est orange feels the squeeze;
Who spends his por­tion will be broke;
Who has no milk can make no cheese-
So say I and so say the folk.

He makes no blot who has no ink,
Nor gath­ers hon­ey who keeps no bees.
The ship that does not float will sink;
Who’d trav­el far must cross the seas.
Lone wolves are sel­dom seen in threes;
A conker ne’er becomes an oak;
Rome was­n’t built by chimpanzees-
So say I and so say the folk.

Envoi

Dear friends! If adages like these
Should seem banal, or just a joke,
Remem­ber fish don’t grow on trees-
So say I and so say the folk.

From Mak­ing Cocoa for Kings­ley Amis

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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