by Kingsley Amis, 1922-1995
A companion piece to "Shitty," this one extends the theme.
The "old shag" in lines 2 and 12 is Walter de la Mare.
• Play the reading
• Text of the poem
Look thy last on all things lovely
Every hour, an old shag said,
Meaning they turn lovelier if thou
Thinkst about soon being dead.
Do they? When that "soon" means business
They might lose their eye-appeal,
Go a bit like things unlovely,
Get upstaged by how you feel.
The best time to see things lovely
Is in youth's primordial bliss,
Which is also when you rather
Go for old shags talking piss.