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Toads

Written by: Philip Larkin | Biography
 | Quotes (80) |
 Why should I let the toad work
 Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
 And drive the brute off?

Six days of the week it soils 
 With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills!
 That's out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:
 Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
 They don't end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes
 With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
 they seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
 Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets - and yet
 No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough 
 To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff
 That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
 Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
 And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
 My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
 All at one sitting.

I don't say, one bodies the other
 One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
 When you have both.



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