Saturday, 23 September 2006

Cheesy verse

And you thought William McGonagall was bad ...

James McIntyre was a Canadian poet who specialised in verse about cheese. Well, not just cheese. He had a fondness for other dairy products, all of which he celebrated in rhyme.

Born in Scotland in 1827, he emigrated to Ingersoll in Canada in 1841. He spend the rest of his long life there, penning stanzas in praise of cheese.

The Oxford County Library has an excellent site on McIntyre, including his obituary notice, which records that his poems 'were probably not of the highest literary standard'. You be the judge.

Ode On the Mammoth Cheese
(weight over seven thousand pounds)

We have seen thee, queen of cheese,
Lying quietly at your ease,
Gently fanned by evening breeze,
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

All gaily dressed soon you'll go
To the great Provincial show,
To be admired by many a beau
In the city of Toronto

Cows numerous as a swarm of bees,
Or as the leaves upon the trees,
It did require to make thee please,
And stand unrivalled, queen of cheese.

May you not receive a scar as
We have heard that Mr. Harris
Intends to send you off as far as
The great world's show at Paris.

Of the youth beware of these,
For some of them might rudely squeeze
And bite your cheek, then songs or glees
We could not sing, oh! queen of cheese.

We'rt thou suspended from balloon,
You'd cast a shade even at noon,
Folk would think it was the moon
About to fall and crush them soon
.

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