L’Origine du monde

Gustave Courbet, "The Origin of the World" (1866)

Richard Alfred Milliken (1767- 1815) was an Irish lawyer, poet and playwright whose best-remembered work is “The Groves of Blarney”, pastiche of supposedly dreadful “Castle Hyde” by some or other traveling Irish bard. Its dark holes and pusses, breeding and mossy entrances, sweet fishy feather beds, and mud foll-oh-OH-OOH!-ed by flood obviously anticipates Courbet’s realist cunt:


For ’tis there’s a cave where no daylight enters,
__But cats and badgers are forever bred;
Being mossed by natur’, that makes it sweeter
__Than a coach and six, or a feather bed.
’Tis there the lake that is stored with perches,
__And comely eels in the verdant mud;
Beside the leeches, and groves of beeches,
__All standing in order for to guard the flood.


Milliken also wrote “The River-Side: A Poem in Three Books“, which, though slightly tedious to this one’s eyes, does have its loftier heights. Nature descriptions are a constant pleasure (but too much for a dirty mind!) and then there’s this call for peace and restraint:


In ancient times, when hot religious zeal,
Drew many a knight to Palestine’s domains,
To honor God by shedding pagan blood.
(More honour’d far who is the prince of peace
By deeds of mercy and restraint of war.
Philanthropy for all the sons of earth
And brotherly affection.) When the flame
Romantic caught from breast to breast, through all
United Christendom, her prowest knights
Assembled to redeem the holy land


Funny that in 1807 (or so), the Crusades were “ancient”, though it does lend them an air of legend. Funny also that the word honour is first spelt honor (no u), then honour in the next line. Still, it’s the thought that counts; and here the thought is the nobility and grace of peace amongst all. Who would have thought? A post that began with a giant vagina, ends with a call for global harmony.


One response to “L’Origine du monde

  1. It takes sometimes a long time till the eros in some oeuvres finds his way to the public light.
    Too bad, we will never read some of Blake s stronger writings who got burned.

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