"Dipsychus" by the English poet Arthur Hugh Clough

The Quiet American - Graham Greene, Robert Stone

 This poem from The Quiet American novel & film...

 

 

Commentary and full text of The Ambler from Dipsychus, by Arthur Hugh Clough

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The line comes from a long satirical verse called "Dipsychus," by the
English poet Arthur Hugh Clough.

"Dipsychus," written in 1850, is a hybrid between a poem and a play.
It takes the form of scenes which, in various styles of verse, develop
a dialogue between an idealist and a "devil's advocate." The word
'dipsychus' means 'divided mind' or 'two minds', and the work (which
was never finished by Clough, nor published during his lifetime)
depicts the ongoing squabble in the human soul between the starry-eyed
do-gooder and the cynical hedonist.

Here are some verses in which you'll find the refrain "So pleasant it
is to have money, heigh ho!"

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, 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--n;
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 to sup.
So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
So pleasant it is to have money.

The best of the tables and the 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 tables 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.

O 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.

Thus I sat 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.

-Arthur Hugh Clough

The Ambler