A Poem on One of Life’s Minor Pleasures–Wealth

I first ran across this poem in a recording by Alec Guiness.   I recalled it, when a fine old lady left the organization I ran some $6 million dollars.  Clough was a friend of Tennyson--and Florence Nightengale!

 

How Pleasant It Is to Have Money

by Arthur Hugh Clough

As I sat at the café, I said to myself,

They may talk as they please about what they call pelf,

They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking,

But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking

How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

How pleasant it is to have money.

I sit at my table en grand seigneur,

And when I have done, I throw a crust to the poor;

Not only the pleasure, one's self, of good living,

But also the pleasure of now and then giving.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

It was but last winter I came up to Town,

But already I'm getting a little renown;

I make new acquaintance where'er I appear;

I am not too shy, and have nothing to fear.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

I drive through the streets, and I care not a d-mn;

The people they stare, and they ask who I am;

And if I should chance to run over a cad,

I can pay for the damage if ever so bad.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

We stroll to our box and look down on the pit,

And if it weren't low should be tempted to spit;

We loll and we talk until people look up,

And when it's half over we go out and sup.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

The best of the tables and best of the fare--

And as for the others, the devil may care;

It isn't our fault if they dare not afford

To sup like a prince and be drunk as a lord.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

We sit at our table and tipple champagne;

Ere one bottle goes, comes another again;

The waiters they skip and they scuttle about,

And the landlord attends us so civilly out.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

It was but last winter I came up to Town,

But already I'm getting a little renown;

I get to good houses without much ado,

Am beginning to see the nobility too.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

Oh dear! what a pity they ever should lose it!

For they are the gentry that know how to use it;

So grand and so graceful, such manners, such dinners,

But yet, after all, it is we are the winners.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

I sit at my table en grand seigneur,

And when I had done threw a crust to the poor;

Not only the pleasure, one's self, of good eating,

But also the pleasure of now and then treating.

So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

So pleasant it is to have money.

They may talk as they please about what they call pelf,

And how one ought never to think of one's self,

And how pleasures of thought surpass eating and drinking--

My pleasure of thought is the pleasure of thinking

How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

How pleasant it is to have money.

3 Responses

  1. Dot says:

    Money is supposed to be the root of all evil—
    But still,
    How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!

  2. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    It is good to have enough money so you are not a financial burden on others and are in a position to help your children and their families keep out of debt when emergencies happen. As the poem implies, money is useful only when you spend it.

    Financial advisors recommend having about six months of cash reserves available for emergencies. Studies say that many families cannot come up with even $400 for a necessary car or home repair. And this is the situation in the “so called” richest country on earth.

  3. Vince Cornell says:

    This made me laugh out loud several times, and thinking of Alec Guinness reciting it only improved the experience.