DUMB-BELLS left, dumb-bells right,
Swing them hard, grip them tight!
Thirty fat men of the town
Must sweat their filthy paunches down.
Dripping sweat and pumping blood
They try to make themselves like God.

One and two, three and four,
Cleave the air and smite the floor!
Five and six, seven and eight,
Legs apart, shoulders straight!
Thirty fat men grunt and puff,
Thirty bellies plead, Enough!

Dumb-bells up, dumb-bells down,
Dumb-bells front, dumb-bells ground!
Thirty's God has just the girth
To pull the levers of the earth,
They made him sinewy and lean
And washed him glittering white and clean.

Dumb-bells in, dumb-bells out,
Count by fours and face about!
Put by dumb-bells for to-day,
Wash the stinking sweat away
And go out clean. But come again;
Worship's every night at ten.


About John Oldham


John Oldham was an English satirical poet and translator. Life and Work Oldham was born in Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire, the son of John Oldham, a non-conformist minister, and grandson of John Oldham the staunch anti-papist rector of Shipton Moyne and before that of Long Newton in Wiltshire. He was educated first at Tetbury grammar school, then at St. Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford, where the Principal was Thomas Tully, an ex-headmaster from Oldham's school at Tetbury. Tully was "a person of severe morals, puritanically inclined and a struict Calvinist. Oldham received a B. A. degree in May 1674.... Read more...

Poet of the day

Malay Roy Choudhury (Bengali: মলয় রায়চৌধুরী) is a Bengali poet and novelist who founded the "Hungryalist Movement" in the 1960s. His literary works have been reviewed by sixty critics in HAOWA 49, a quarterly magazine which devoted its January 2001 special issue to Roy Choudhury's life and works. Commemorative issues...
Read more...

Poem of the day


À d'autres l'Italie et ses mers azurées,
Et ses villes toujours d'un chaud soleil dorées,
Venise qu'on dirait, avec ses grands palais,
Une flotte échouée au bord de sa lagune,
Où le pêcheur croit prendre, aux clartés de la lune,
Les étoiles dans ses filets...
Read more...