My great grandfather's Soliloquy on his Seventy-first Birthday

By Yvonne Bligh

I'm seventy-one! I'm seventy-one!
My racy life is nearly run
I've wandered far from East to West
And seen life at its worst and best.
Been mentioned in the London Times
For reading thoughts and kindred lines
I've sighted hosts of nature's freaks
Which every pushing showman seeks
And when down south in search of gold
Attended marts where slaves were sold!
Have travers'd Europe far and near
And dined with Parson, Prince and Peer;
Of dainty dishes had my share
(sauer-kraut, grilled frog and bear)
Cosmopolite I've been all through,
And fraternised with Greek and Jew.
Ills of the flesh have pass'd me by
I forgive the slight without a sigh
Hair-breadth escapes, I've had a few
Proverbial luck has proved quite true!
Of occupations, had a score
Poetic pranks adds just one more
As worldly treasures are but Dross,
Like rolling stones, I've saved no moss
I've mingled with the merry throng
And do so still - but not for long
Altho' admitting many faults
I fear not death or icy vaults
My consort, too, is full of years
(To state her age might lead to tears)
She's gentle, genial, gifted, good
And noted for her cheerful mood.

Martin Van Buren Bligh
(Born Michaelmas Day, 1833)
24 Queen's Gardens, Brighton

This page was added on 29/09/2006.
Comments about this page

I have the poem he wrote on his 81st.
I'm 81 this Goosey Day
But still not out as cricketers say.
A tidy innings I have had
At least,has not been very bad.
"Ills of the flesh have passed me by,
I forgive the "slight " without a sigh;
Hair breadth escapes I've had a few,
Proverbial luck has pulled me through.
I've travelled far from east to west,
Have "seen life" at its worst and best.
And when 'down south' in search of gold
Attended marts where slaves were sold.
I've traversed Europe far and near,
And dined with President, Prince and Peer.
Of occupations - I've had a score,
Poetic pranks just one more;
Been mentioned in the London "Times"
For thought-reading and kindred lines.
I've "piloted" many of Natures "freaks"
Which every pushing "showman" seeks.
I've had a seat in Fortune's lap,
And was the first to bring you the "Jap."
I've rolled on oceans and on skates
And seen the last of many mates;
I've picked up type from night till morn
As a hungry chicken picks up corn;
Have courted Law, to make me just,
And cure them of their wicked lust.
Though serious at times, I'm fond of a joke,
And enjoy one most when having a smoke.
I've mingled with the "merry throng"
And do so still but not for long,
And though admitting many faults,
I fear not death or "icy vaults."
As "earthly treasures are but dross,"
Like rolling stones I've gathered no

This is followed by a note about questioning his sanity
25 Queens Gardens Sept 29th 1914
Someone please contact me ...

By Rita Buckrell
On 29/11/2007

This worked! I have made contact with a cousin I never knew existed .

By Rita Buckrell
On 15/12/2007