"My Fairy" by Lewis Carroll

This poem was written when he was 12 or 13, but still remains my favourite of all his works.

  My Fairy (1845)

I have a fairy by my side
 Which says I must not sleep,
When once in pain I loudly cried
 It said, 'You must not weep.'

If, full of mirth, I smile and grin,
 It says, 'You must not laugh';
When once I wished to drink some gin
 It said, 'You must not quaff.'

When once a meal I wished to taste
 It said, 'You must not bite';
When to the wars I went in haste
 It said, 'You must not fight.'

'What may I do?' at length I cried,
 Tired of the painful task.
The fairy quietly replied,
 And said, 'You must not ask.'


 'You mustn't.'

New realisation for THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

I guess this is the value of reading books on a whim, even if you don't end up finishing them.

What I noticed is that the characters are introduced in the reverse order to the title, which had always bugged me ever since I laid eyes on the film. Although the plotting shouldn't be laid out any other way - Clint Eastwood's introduction incorporates both Tuco and Angel Eyes in the same setting, after which we have been introduced to both of these characters - I always wondered why the title couldn't have been the more appropriate "The Ugly, The Bad and The Good", despite its lack of verbal elegance.

What I recently discovered is that this is a device called "hysteron-proteron", commonly employed by Homer in his epic The Odyssey, where this technique was brought to my attention. It is considered rhetorical, and therefore played for effect.

This, however, was unintentional, as the original Italian title is ordered "The Good, The Ugly and The Bad", however the rhetoric remains, and sets us up for a homeric grandiose epic all the same.