written quotes

Lost quotations

Have a look at the lost quotes below and see if you can help us out! (Please note that comments must be suitable for audiences of all ages and may be removed if not.)

"A hindu died, a happy thing to do..." | 25-Nov-04

When I went to senior highschool in Denmark from 1943 - 1947 (yes you are reading right, it was in the middleage, and it took 4 years because I spent 1 year in the Danish resistance movement, well in school we learnt English, and one of the poems started:

A hindu died, a happy thing to do
for every man united to a shrew.
After that some vers describing a more or less normal marriage.
Well, at last our hindu knocked at the door to Saint Peter, who asked him whether he had been through purgatory. He answered no, but I know the man who was let in just before I came, and I know he has not been through either. Yes, Peter answered, but he has been married. Now our hindu saw his chance and said:
Oh, but I'v been married twice.
Peters answer:
Be gone, we want no fools in Paradise.

So, this poem was in our English textbook. But for about 60 years ago.It contains much wisdom. So if you can find it I will be very grateful. Unfortunately I can not remember the name of the poet.

12 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!


Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Comments:

This was one of my father's "party pieces" which he used to quote regularly some 60 or more years ago. I, like your correspondent would like to hear the poem again as I remember only bits of it
roy selby

I can give you the verse, but not sure I can find the author. Any good?
Bob Henderson

If anyone can give me - or, presumably, your original correspondent - the full poem, I would be most grateful
Roy Selby

Hope this helps,
THE HINDUS PARADISE.

Anonymous

A Hindu died a happy thing to do
When twenty years united to a shrew.
Released, he hopefully for entrance cries
Before the gates of Brahma's paradise.
"Hast been through purgatory ? " Brahma said
"I have been married " and he hung his head.
"Come in, come in, and welcome, too, my son
Marriage and purgatory are as one."
In bliss extreme he entered heaven's door,
And knew the peace he ne'er had known before

Scarce had he entered on that garden fair,
Another Hindu asked admission there.
The self-same question Brahma asked again
" Hast been through purgatory ? " "No-what then?"
"Thou canst not enter !" did the god reply.
He who went in has been no more than I"
"All that is true, but he has married been,
And so on earth has suffered for his sin !"
" Married ? 'Tis well ; for I've been married twice !"
" Begone ! We'll have no fools in Paradise !
David Lawrence

The poem, which also appears with the variant spelling 'A Hindoo's Death' was by the American (?) poet George Birdseye (1844-1919?).
Poetry Library

The Book of Comic and Dramatic Monologues, published by Elm Tree Books in 1981 attributes this poem (called here 'The Hindoo's Paradise') to Herbert Harraden (1907), and informs us that the poem was performed by Bransby Williams.
Poetry Library

My mother used to recite this to me, although I remember small differences. She was born in 1906, me in 1937. She lived in London's East End before the '39 war and wasn't well educated but she had been to elocution classes. Peter James
Peter James

I know the poem from an English textbook, which were used in my school in about 1944. At that time I found it rather amusing and learned it by heart. On this occasion it would have been nice to have a look in the book, but I am not able to find it. My comments are therefore exclusively based on my remembrance and are the following:

The title is: THE HINDOO'S PARADISE

It has a prologue:
FALL FROM A SHIP'S MAST ON TO HERE DECK.
FALL FROM A HOUSETOP AND BREAK YOUR NECK.
FALL FROM THE HIGHEST PINNACLE ABOVE,
BUT NEVER, NEVER, NEVER FALL IN LOVE!

As far as the mainpoem is concerned, my remembrance is in accordance with DAVID LAWRENCE's quotation apart from a few divergencies in the phraising.
C. E. Kern-Hansen

A Hindu died, a happy thing to do when twenty years united the the shrew,
Released he hopefully for an entrance cries
before the gates of Brhams paradise.
Hst been through purgatory Brhama saib
I have been married, and he hung his head
Come in, Come in and weldome to my son
formarraige and purgatory are as one

Soon as he entered that garden fair
another Hindu sought addmission there
The self same question Brhama sked again
Hast been through purgatory
no what them
Thou canst not entyre did the God repley
He who came in has been no more than I
All that is truem but he has married been, and so on earth has suffered for his sins
Married tis well tis well for Ive been married twicew
Be gone well have no fools iin paradise
Ivor Adans

I don't know the author (which is why I was googling it) but I committed the poem to memory years ago. I believe I got it from the Harvard Classics.

It is quoted almost perfectly below, except the word "thou" has been omitted after the word Hast on the 5th line of the 1st stanza and 4th line of the 2nd stanza. It should read: "Hast thou been through purgatory?..." in both stanzas. You will note that it reads a lot better that way too.

Also, in the 2nd stanza, 6th line, It should read: "He that entered in was no more there than I."

And the 7th line should read" True....but he has married been" and on the next-to-last-line omit the word "for."

Also, there are three other small changes to the first stanza:
Line 1 should read "A Hndu died one day ? a happy thing to do.....
and Line 8, add the word "For" to the front of that line: "For marriage and purgatory are as one."
And the last line substitute "found" for "knew," though either would work.

Here is the complete poem as I memorized it 50+ years ago:


A HINDU?S PARADISE

A Hindu died one day -- a happy thing to do
When 20 years united to a shrew.
Released, he hopefully for entrance cries
Before the gates of Brahma?s paradise.
?Hast thou been through Purgatory,? Brahma said?
?I have been married.....? and he hung his head.
?Come in! come in!? and welcome, too, my son,
?For marriage and purgatory are as one!?
In bliss extreme he entered Heaven?s door
And found the peace he ne?re had known before.

He scarce had entered in the garden fair
When another Hindu asked admission there.
The self-same question Brahma asked again:
?Hast thou been through purgatory?? ?No! What then!??
?Then thou can?st no enter,? did the god reply.
?But why? He that entered in was no more there than I!?
?True, but he has married been,
And so on earth has suffered for all sin.?
?Married!? Humpf! ?T?is well! I?ve been married twice!?
?BE GONE......we?ll have no fools in Paradise!?

Robert Wilson

Yes I know the poem well and I have a complete copy of it which I taught for years.

Charles E. Mac Kay

The Hindu's Death
A Hindu died-a happy thing to do,
When fifty years united to a shrew.
Released, he hopefully for entrance cries
Before the gates of Brahma's paradise.
"Hast been through Purgatory?" Brahma said.
"I have been married!" and he hung his head.
"Come in! Come in! And welcome to my son!
Marriage and Purgatory are as one."
In bliss extreme he entered Heaven's door,
And knew the peace he ne'er had known before.
He scarce had entered in the gardens fair,
Another Hindu asked admission there.
The self-same question Brahma asked again:
"Has been through Purgatory?" "No; what then?"
"Thou canst not enter!" did the god reply.
"He that went in was there no more than I."
"All that is true, but he has married been,
And so on earth has suffered for all his sin."
"Married? 'Tis well; for I've been married twice."
"Begone! We'll have no fools in Paradise!"

-George Birdseye

Harry Charlton


:: Back to Lost quotations ::

Back to top Register for newsletter
Bookmark This Page