COPY PAPER by Edward Dyson

It stands upon my table now,
   A big, square block of copy paper;
O'er this for many months, I vow,
   I needs must burn the midnight taper.
It's ready for me, waiting but
   And inspiration straight from Heaven -
Two thousand slips, all trimly cut,
   Just as I like them, ten by seven.

And ere a bigger theme I seize
   I sit a little while, and ponder
The wondrous possibilities
   Of that white, virgin paper yonder.
It is the fallow ground my pen
   Will plough in rows half-inch asunder,
And sow with myriad seeds.  And then
   What will the harvest be, I wonder?

Perchance it's lurking in the pile,
   As in the stone once hid a Milo,
My novel, fine in theme and style,
   Or only tracts on maize and silo,
And vagrant pars and tinkling rhymes
   The better readers will make nought of;
Perchance the play which many times,
   With great invention, I have thought of.

Maybe those pages will be seamed
   With lines to make me really famous,
Or stained with japes that might be dreamed
   By any scribbling ignoramus.
Already visions seem to stir.
   I fear me, though, that Fate's black malice
Will make a whited sepulchre
   Where I would have a fairy palace.

First published in The Bulletin, 19 October 1916

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