Thursday 22nd December 2005

By Jeannine Kerwin

Presented are a bewildered Sam’s lighthearted observations of his diary and the accompanying annotations of 1662. This presentation combines a mixture of editorial accuracy, tongue in cheek interpretation and an ample use of artistic/poetic license. Those parties actually named by Sam are tied (albeit loosely in some instances) to actual diary entries or the more general thematic areas where they shared their commentary.

I

Most perplexing these curious annotators of Sam
Dissecting my life to explore who I am
Spying into my diary of 1662
Shameless critics of all I say and do!

Feeble-minded observations of a man who is me
All reflect their understanding’s inconsistency
Feckless words strewn passionately from page to page
The random scattering below stokes my deep fiery rage….

What clothes or not I wear to bed
What, if anything found living on my head
When a little grey creature steals into my house
They expound boundless fervor upon a mouse!

How I move in great haste on Valentine’s Day
To keep Sir Batten’s daughter away!
Or when Mrs. Pierce at Portsmouth I do happily see
These silly commentators make quite merry of me

“Romeo and Juliet” and “Midsummer’s Night Dream”
The two worst plays I’ve ever seen!
My deep love of the theatre and bountiful wine
Occasion they make of it fills up their time

My happiness in the privy Garden when I spy
Castlemaine’s smocks and petticoats hanging high
Pretty faces in church make my head to swirl
Sad gossip of my bouts had with a servant girl

The dulcimer and violins played with zest
“Nulla Nulla” on my lute I delight in the best
The painter’s portraits of my beloved wife
They know I’ll cherish for my entire life

Fenner’s pitiful, old, ugly ill-bred woman in a hatt
Sandwich’s Lady of quality most different than that
Frivolous ladies of Court, our sovereign’s new Queen
They write of these ladies and all in between

My boy whipped til I cannot stir
My arm in such pain I can hardly endure
Will’s drunkenness, the servant’s most lazy ways
Cause grave disquiet amongst them for many days

The sturgeon with the little worms
Made their stomachs start to squirm
If I sup alone on bread and cheese
Could I not have my privacy please?

Coopers teaching me mathmatiques
Religion vexed by strange Fanatiques!
Hemp, timber, tar, science, Boyle’s gases
Their discourse makes their boredom passest!

With all my heart I hate Penn’s base treacherous tricks
When together we dine, so what do I pick?
A shoulder roasted and a pie baked of umbles
Advise me do they that I must be more humble!

My father, mother, sister and brothers
How rude are their jests at Tom’s stttt-stttt-stutters!
But when I boast to all about my stone
Can not they please leave me alone?

The Navy where I am the life to all
Where a man’s good name may rise or fall
York, Sandwich, Coventry, Carteret, Batten and Penn
They make petty business of them once and again

My church, the Book of Common Prayers
The surplice that the parson wears
Sermons preached to the King on plentiful Sundays
Strangely God’s solemn words provide their most fun days

When my wife wishes to learn to dance
Upon her desires they pounce and prance
Troubling my mind beware of wandering men
Vexing me with tales of what could happen then

October in Brampton caused me immeasurable pain
Forgo scallop to church, how they all deemed me vain!
Those fools think me arrogant while truth is plain to see
Wine is fit for those Pepys but it’s wormewood for me!

Slubbering simpletons can neither understand nor measure
The importance of my quest for the Tower’s hidden treasure
When seeking their own treasures how they all do enthrall
The discovery that I am no longer man but now paper doll!

Thus ends this year with great mirth to me and my wife
Join me for a moment to praise God for my life
Just one disquieting question leaves me most worrisome pain
Can a King command the Navy who can not command the rain?

II

So as I settle my business of 1662
With forthright resolve I now bring pen to you!
No fleeing as cowards for you now must forbear
As I discourse on you all without concern or care!

You think Susan up early to post first each day
Think again fools Australia is time zones away!
I wish she had taught me the Book of Common Prayer
You see while in church my eyes were always elsewhere….

David Smith, Sjeord and Clement observe stars and moon
Turning longitude and latitude into a mathematical tune
David Bell, Terry and Andy note my times rising and sleeping
Into my diurnal life, they most rudely are peeping!

Grain of Salt thinks to trick us by changing his name
Then why is his writing always styled the same?
I’ll gladly set truth to the cunning little rumor
Buried in cryptic words lies a philosopher’s humor

“Gaze not on Swans” or Laud Crispe in the Park
Singing my musique from morning til dark
Daniel, Stolzi, John, Bullus, Wim and Nix do adore us
But can they carry a tune and join in for the chorus?

Honest words to our Robert seeking work writing plays
Best keep your day job at least that one pays
No matter that your plays deserve glorious merit and praise
I hold tight to my purse so you’ll ne’r see a raise

Me poisoning Penn with my pie made of umbles?
DeAraujo and Rex began that mischievous rumble
Add to this Bradford’s gem of a menu critique
5 pasties ÷ 3 days = 1 dose physique !

Constipational calculus, digestional algebra, Pepysian matimatique
Alcoholic polynominals, Bacchus’ Binomium, what confusion you speak!
Amidst these strange calculations Dirk revealed his keen wit
When he counted the times that I said the word “shit”!

On a dull April day when I had little to say……
“Alan, David, Bradford, Susan, Jesse, Todd, Daniel, Vincenzo, Paul, Pauline, Peter, Rex, Ruben and Robert” …made notations anyway!
The next day a dead man in the waters of the Thames
John and Michael spoke gravely, but Glyn gave him a name!

Words of mystery are the likes of “cabaretts” or of “cloy”
“Where I have been very merry when I was a little boy”
The tenses, the phrases, what means this or that
Puzzles solved linguistically by LanguageHat!

When I washed with water on a hot day in May
David, Leslie and Judy made haste with their say
Now DrCari and Araucaria to bathe I’d be most lucky
As no one has invented the yellow rubber ducky!

Stroll gently will I on Pedro, Ruben and Jeannine
Who stand constant to Catherine our Portuguese Queen
To Whitehall, St. Margaret’s and onto Fleet Street
With Peter you’ll walk where I did with my feet

A mysterious disease proved condition for digestive fun
For Graham, Paul, JWB, XJY, Todd and A. Hamilton
These marvels of science debate lead or moldy grain
If you are truly such wonders cure my colic’s great pain!

Debate over my mother brought forth grand passion and strife
Brave Pedro’s bold science unleashed the wrath of his wife!
His daring experiment put all doubts to rest
And proved that the English do know how to jest!

Now come lovely Jenny, Linda, Laura, Mary, Helen and Lynn
Join Bob, Brad, Tom and JA Gioia to spy on that lady of sin
There is no other beauty that I do so adore
But only with my eyes, as she is the King’s whore!

Have you expectations I’ll let our host Phil off the hook?
Heavens no it was his idea to share the whole book!
Six more years of my diary will bring untold delights
Full of writers silly banter and wondrous insights!

To those reading not speaking you know this old rule
Best thought in your silence to be a great fool
And refrain from spreading your comments about
Then put thought to pen and remove all doubt!

For those others who write of me from time to time
Your name I would mention if only it rhymed!
But if you find something most outrageous to say
I’ll quit with this poetry and of you write a whole play!

Intellects of great seriousness how literally you speak
But life is too short to forego tongue in cheek!
As you boast of your brilliance and say as you please
If you be of such genius then find my lost keys!

Your profusion of words causes grievous hurt to my head
It won’t pain me for long (spoiler here) because I am dead
I am troubled no more with all you have said
Now close my diary, and with my wife, simply to bed……

23 Comments

Lynn   Link to this

Wow! How long did it take writing this verse?
If I'd had a go it would've been worse!

laura k   Link to this

Wow indeed! What beautiful work, Jeannine. Thank you for sharing it with us. (And I'm honoured to be included, it's quite undeserved.)

Happy Holidays to all the Pepysters!

senectus   Link to this

Great piece; hope your feet were not hurting as it be once said:
"Numquam poet[ri]or nisi podager." Ennius, Saturae.
or in saxon
'never a poetress except when gouty'

Bradford   Link to this

Ach, she has plenty of "feet" to stand on, Senectus! To assemble so many incidents from Pepys's life, both triumphs and comeuppances---and then to classify the commentators with their quirks and quips---it's a marvelous confection. Let's all go a-wassailing!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Great Jeannine! Loved it!

dirk   Link to this

Congratulations Jeannine!

Where did you hide that talent for so long? This is really good.

JWB   Link to this


Sam's "Gone West", literally, literarily. Week before Christmas, year before last, it was haiku.

Terry F   Link to this

Really cool and keen, Jeannine!
A wreath of Christmas flowers laid on Sam's grave. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Poinsettia_2...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

In Heaven no doubt Sam has this one alongside the Diary and his collection on Colonel Smith. Thanks for it, Jeannine

Nix   Link to this

"The two worst plays I’ve ever seen!" --

Surely Samuel would have written it: "that ever I've seen!"

Jeannine, this is wonderful, and so flattering to those of us you mention. But how did you know I am a chorister? (At least you made the rhyme "chorus", and not "bore us".)

Thanks again, and happy holidays to all.

PHE   Link to this

Great stuff Jeannine

Australian Susan   Link to this

Jeannine - Thank You! What a wonderful Christmas present to us all!

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Splendid, splendid: a venison pastie to be cooked and eaten in your honor!

andy   Link to this

Thanks Jeannine (have just got up!)

Alland   Link to this

Exactly more or less why I was thinking.

Joe   Link to this

How generous and lovely of you, Jeannine. You've got a way with a couplet. Many thanks!

Dan Jenkins   Link to this

Simply superb, Jeannine.

Carl Wickstrom, Boston Mass USA   Link to this

Congratulations and bouquets to the poet
There's ten thousand of us who tune in tomorrow
Thirsting for yesterday's Pepsian Knowledge
It's a grand society, and great to sit on the sidelines
Reading The Diary and all the annotations.
Greetings of the Season to all.

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Brilliant - Pope-sian! Should Wayneman be let off if he can learn it?
Happy New Year Jeannine and all.

Pedro   Link to this

An Epic.

To draw praise from Senectus the God of Old Age Annotators is a fitting tribute. Thanks also from Catarina, Margaret and Pedro.

Mark Pearson   Link to this

Wonderfull Jeannine!
I lift my pint of home brew stout and wish all a happy new year.

Xjy   Link to this

Jeannine, whose wit is so salty, c-
-onjured reason to raise jars of malt - hic!
Over time, seas and lands
For Sam and his fans
A Happy New Year from the Baltic!

GrahamT   Link to this

Raise up your bowls and drink a wassail,
In wormwood or Rhenish or old Kentish ale,
To Jeannine our Bard, and be of good cheer,
'coz now she must write one every New Year!

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