Woodbine Willie

Original Text: 
G. A. Studdert Kennedy, Rhymes (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1929): 9. 1929 (7) 3853 Cambridge University Library
1They gave me this name like their nature,
2    Compacted of laughter and tears,
3A sweet that was born of the bitter,
4    A joke that was torn from the years
5Of their travail and torture, Christ's fools,
6    Atoning my sins with their blood,
7Who grinned in their agony sharing
8    The glorious madness of God.
9Their name! Let me hear it -- the symbol
10    Of unpaid -- unpayable debt,
11For the men to whom I owed God's Peace,
12    I put off with a cigarette.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: