Horace Rumpole and the Poems (and Classics) Quoted
Rumpole of the Old Bailey, about Rumpole the idiosyncratic barrister practicing in London, by John Mortimer is one of my favorite TV series of all times. Among the many reasons to like this TV-series, poetry for me is a top attraction. Rumpole recites passages from classic poems and plays almost in every episode. What is so endearing about his quoting poetry and the classics is his choice of poems and passages there from is always a perfect fit for the plot of the episode. Through watching this TV series, one gets the delightful education of some beautiful gems of English literature without the burden of having to sit through a test at the end. Now that is edutainment.
Here is a partial list of the poems and other works cited. It will be updated as and when I discover more gems while I continue to watch and re-watch Rumpole. Help and comments from all fellow Rumpole fans are most welcome. Sorry for the lack of the table format which was lost while pasting over from MS-WORD.
Updated 29 August 2012
SN Episode Poet Poem Catch Lines
1.0 Confession Of Guilt William Wordsworth There Was A Boy At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills
1.1 The Younger Generation William Wordsworth Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood But trailing clouds of glory do we come
1.2 Alternative Society William Wordsworth It Is Not To Be Thought Of We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakspeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held
1.2 Alternative Society William Wordsworth It Is A Beauteous Evening, Calm And Free IT is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the Sea:.
1.3 The Honourable Member William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 1 And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity
1.4 The Married Lady William Shakespeare King Richard II, Act 5, scene 5 I wasted time, and now doth time waste me
1.5 The Married Lady Percy Bysshe Shelley Epipsychidion With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe, The dreariest and the longest journey go
1.5 The Married Lady Scott, Sir Walter Marmion Uncertain, coy, and hard to please, And variable as the shade
By the light quivering aspen made
1.6 Heavy Brigade Thomas Hood November No warmth, no cheerfulness
1.6 Heavy Brigade William Wordsworth My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky
1.6 Heavy Brigade John Keats Ode to Autumn Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
2.1 Man of God Robert Browning Song, From Pippa Passes Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled
2.1 Man of God William Wordsworth The Solitary Reaper Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things
And battles long ago:
2.2 The Case of Identity William Blake The Tiger Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
2.2 The Case of Identity William Shakespeare Henry V Act 4 Scene 3 That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company
2.3 The Show Folks William Shakespeare Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1 ’Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart
2.3 The Show Folks William Shakespeare Henry V Chorus 11 Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
2.4 The Fascist Beast Oliver Goldsmith The Village Schoolmaster And still they gaz’d and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.
2.5 The course of true love William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1 Scene 1 The course of true love never did run smooth
2.6 Age Of Retirement Alfred, Lord Tennyson Ulysses It little profits that an idle king..
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
2.6 Age Of Retirement Alfred, Lord Tennyson Ulysses .. Matched with an agèd wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
[2.7] Rumpole’s Return Ben Johnson A Farewell to the World Nor for my peace will I go far,
As wanderers do, that still do roam;
But make my strengths, such as they are,
Here in my bosom, and at home.
[2.7] Rumpole’s Return Shakespeare Sonnet 129 The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action: and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
[2.7] Rumpole’s Return Wordsworth British Freedom the Flood
Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
Of the world’s praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, ‘with pomp of waters, unwithstood,’
3.1 The Genuine Article John Keats Ode On Grecian Urn ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know
3.2 The Golden Thread James Elroy Flecker The Golden Road (Journey) to Samarkand Away, for we are ready to a man!
Our camels sniff the evening and are glad.
Lead on, O Master of the Caravan:
Lead on the Merchant-Princes of Bagdad.
We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further: it may be
Beyond the last blue mountain barred with snow,
Across that angry or that glimmering sea…
3.3 The Old Boy Net Robert Louis Stevenson Requiem
UNDER the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie: Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you ‘grave for me:
Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
3.4 The Female of the Species Shakespeare Julius Caesar Act III, Brutus: There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
3.5 The Sporting Life William Blake Auguries Of Innocence A robin redbreast [calling pheasant] in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage
3.6 The Last Resort Shakespeare Sonnet 66 Tired with all these, for restful death, I cry.
4.1 The Old Old Story Wordsworth It Is Not To Be Thought Of In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakspeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.–In everything we are sprung
Of Earth’s first blood, have titles manifold.
4.2 The Blind Tasting John Keats Ode To A Nightingale With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim
4.3 The Official Secret William Congreve The Double Dealer (1694) Retired to their tea and scandal, according to their ancient custom.
4.4 The Judge’s Elbow Rudyard Kipling The Song of the Little Hunter Through the Jungle very softly flits a shadow and a sigh
4.5 The Bright Serapham Samuel Taylor Coleridge Rime Of The Ancient Mariner This seraph-band, each waved his hand : It was a heavenly sight !
4.6 Last Case Alfred, Lord Tennyson The Lotus Eater “COURAGE!” he said, and pointed toward the land, “This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.”
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
4.6 Last Case Arthur Hugh Clough How Pleasant It Is To Have Money As I sat at the cafe, I said to myself
4.6 Last Case James Graham My Dear And Only Love He either fears his fate too much, Or his deserts are small, That puts it not unto the touch To win or lose it all
5.1 The Bubbling Reputation John Keats La Belle Dame.. What can ail thee..
5.1 The Bubbling Reputation Shakespeare Othello, Act III Scene 3 Who steals my purse steals trash; ’t is something, nothing;
’T was mine, ’t is his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
5.1 The Bubbling Reputation Wordsworth And homeless near a thousand homes I stood,
And near a thousand tables pined and wanted food
5.2 The Barrow Boy William Shakespeare Macbeth, Act 2 scene 2 Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth doth murder sleep’
5.3 The Age Of Miracles William Shakespeare Richard III, Act 3, Scene 7 When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, ’tis hard to draw them thence, So sweet is zealous contemplation
5.4 The Tap End O. Goldsmith When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
5.5 Portia Percy Bysshe Shelley To A Skylark We look before and after, And pine for what is not
5.6 The Quality Of Life Alfred, Lord Tennyson The Charge Of The Light Brigade Cannon to right of them cannon to left of them
6.1 A La Carte William Wordsworth The River Duddon SOLE listener, Duddon! to the breeze that played
With thy clear voice, I caught the fitful sound
Wafted o’er sullen moss and craggy mound
6.1 A La Carte William Wordsworth Daffodils For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood
6.2 Summer of Discontent Robert Browning Pippa’s Song THE year ‘s at the spring,
And day ‘s at the morn;
Morning ‘s at seven;
The hill-side ‘s dew-pearl’d;
The lark ‘s on the wing;
The snail ‘s on the thorn;
God ‘s in His heaven –
All ‘s right with the world!
6.2 Summer of Discontent Algernon Charles Swinburne The Garden of Proserpine
From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
6.3 The Right to Silence William Wordsworth Ode
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood But yet I know, where’er I go,
that there hath passed away a glory from the earth
6.4 Rumpole at Sea Samuel Taylor Cooleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring–
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze–
On me alone it blew.
6.4 Rumpole at Sea Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away
6.5 Rumpole and the Quacks Shakespeare Othello Act 3, Scene 3 Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday.
6.6 Rumpole for the Prosecution Shakespeare Othello Act 2, Scene 2 Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping? [translated: If every man gets what he deserves, would anyone ever escape a whipping?]
7.1 The Children Of The Devil John Milton Paradise Lost Book II High on a throne of royal state, which far Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand Show’rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, Satan exalted sat
7.2 Miscarriage of Justice – – –
7.3 The Eternal Triangle Shakespeare Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1 Nymph in thy orisons be all my sins remembered
7.3 The Eternal Triangle John Keats La Belle Dame Sans Merci I met a lady in the meads Full beautiful, a faery’s child; Her hair was long, her foot was light, And her eyes were wild
7.4 The Reform of Joby Johnson Shakespeare Tempest Act 3 Scene 2 Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again. And then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.
7.5 The Family Pride Alfred, Lord Tennyson Blow Bugle Blow The splendour falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story
7.5 The Family Pride Robert Southey Inchcape Rock No stir in the air, no stir in the sea
7.6 On Trial Lord Byron We’ll Go No More A-roving For the sword outwears its sheath, And the soul wears out the breast, And the heart must pause to breathe, And love itself have rest