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Famous First WordsPaul Muldoon
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Vol. 22 No. 3 · 3 February 2000
Poem

Famous First Words

Paul Muldoon

292 words

Archimedes’ first words were ‘Stand away from my diagram.’
Sir Richard Burton’s first word was ‘Chloroform.’

Chang’s first words were ‘I don’t want to go to bed.’
Alexandre Dumas’s first words were ‘I shall never know how it all comes out.’

Thomas Edison’s first words were ‘It is very beautiful over there.’
John Ford’s first words were ‘May I please have a cigar?’

Ulysses S. Grant’s first word was ‘Water.’
Prince Henry’s first words were ‘I would say something but I cannot utter.’

Washington Irving’s first words were ‘When will this end?’
James Joyce’s first words were ‘Does nobody understand?’

Ned Kelly’s first words were ‘Such is life.’
Saint Lawrence’s first words were ‘This side is roasted enough.’

Montezuma’s first words were ‘I bear you no ill will.’
Scipio Nasica’s first words were ‘All is well with the general.’

William Oughtred’s first words were ‘Are you sure the King is restored?’
Elvis Presley’s first words were ‘I hope you have not been bored.’

General Alfredo Quijano’s first words were ‘Still a little closer.’
Maximilien de Robespierre’s first words were ‘Thank you, sir.’

Gertrude Stein’s first words were ‘In that case, what’s the question?’
Henry David Thoreau’s first words were ‘Moose ... Indian ...’

Sir Thomas Urquhart’s first word was something like ‘Habonghadingdonghagong.’
Leonardo da Vinci’s first words were ‘God and man have I offended.’

William Ill’s first words were ‘Can this last long?’
Saint Francis Xavier’s first words were ‘Let me never be confounded.’

Jack B. Yeats’s first words were ‘Don’t forget your sitting.’
Emile Zola’s first words were ‘It must be something we’ve eaten.’

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