Solomon Grundy

"Solomon Grundy
Born on Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Sick on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Dead on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
This was the end
Of Solomon Grundy."
1So sings the unpretentious Muse
2That guides the quill of Mother Goose,
3And in one week of mortal strife
4Presents the epitome of Life:
5But down sits Billy Shakespeare next,
6And, coolly taking up the text,
7His thought pursues the trail of mine,
9O world! O critics! can't you see
10How Shakespeare plagiarizes me?
11And other bards will after come,
12  To echo in a later age,
13"He lived, -- he died: behold the sum,
14  The abstract of the historian's page"; --
15Yet once for all the thing was done,
16  Complete in Grundy's pilgrimage.
17For not a child upon the knee
18But hath the moral learned of me;
19And measured, in a seven days' span,
20The whole experience of man.

Notes

8] "Seven Ages": Jacques' well-known speech in As You Like It, II.vii.1118-45 (quotation from The Internet Shakespeare Editions transcription of the First Folio):
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women, meerely Players;
They haue their Exits and their Entrances,
And one man in his time playes many parts,
His Acts being seuen ages. At first the Infant,
Mewling, and puking in the Nurses armes:
Then, the whining Schoole-boy with his Satchell
And shining morning face, creeping like snaile
Vnwillingly to schoole. And then the Louer,
Sighing like Furnace, with a wofull ballad
Made to his Mistresse eye-brow. Then, a Soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the Pard,
Ielous in honor, sodaine, and quicke in quarrell,
Seeking the bubble Reputation
Euen in the Canons mouth: And then, the Iustice
In faire round belly, with good Capon lin'd,
With eyes seuere, and beard of formall cut,
Full of wise sawes, and moderne instances,
And so he playes his part. The sixt age shifts
Into the leane and slipper'd Pantaloone,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,
His youthfull hose well sau'd, a world too wide,
For his shrunke shanke, and his bigge manly voice,
Turning againe toward childish trebble pipes,
And whistles in his sound. Last Scene of all,
That ends this strange euentfull historie,
Is second childishnesse, and meere obliuion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans euery thing.
Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
Whitney, Adeline Dutton Train, Mother Goose for Grown Folks (New York: Rudd & Carleton, 1860): 21-22. University of Iowa.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire