Poem: The Poet by Max A.

I went to see a poet, who's a cherished friend of mine;
His Muse is sometimes tickled to a fancy half-divine.
You cannot always catch him on an unappointed day,
So 'twas not at all surprising that the poet was away;
But the things which struck my vision as I opened wide the door
Were a cobweb on the inkstand and a bottle on the floor.

Now, that poet often grumbles at the poor rewards for Art,
And that Lit'rature is slighted by a world without a heart.
He growls because a grocer, selling soap, and eggs, and tea,
Gets more hard coin and bullion than the poets ever see;
But I tell you that his grievances seemed less instead of more
When I saw the cobwebbed inkstand and the bottle on the floor.

For the grocer goes to labour every day at eight o'clock,
And he spends his doleful evenings weighing tea or taking stock.
When he finds the sun is shining, then he doesn't shout, "Hooray,
I shall lie and want for fancies in the sunshine all the day;"
He cannot let the world go hang, and cause his friends to pore
On a cobweb on the inkstand and a bottle on the floor.

So, on the whole, the poet doesn't have too bad a life;
He earns enough to keep himself, and needn't keep a wife;
For Art will be his mistress, and the Muse will be his friend,
And for less exalted wooing, there are damsels without end;
And the witness of his comfort is the signs his study bore --
The cobweb on the inkstand and a bottle on the floor.

First published in Punch, 3 November 1910

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 20, 2006 9:26 AM.

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