Poem: Inspiration by Nemo (Mabel Emily Besant-Scott)

O that I had the gift to write with rhythm of machinery
And Inspiration came at call, to point me out the way,
I'd spread the canvas straightaway for bits of glowing scenery,
For rippling streams and fern-clad glens, in brightest spring array.

And love songs I would warble, warm, melodious and Byron-like,
The bill-oak's harp would wail aloud from land of black dismay.
The mad mirage would lure me on with beck'ning finger, siren-like,
O'er sun-baked, God-forsaken lands, till close of fainting day.

The crime, the vice and poverty that live within the city gates
Would stand exposed in dread array in words of living fire;
The burning thirst the topers know, and but a long beer mitigates,
Bohemian nights, regretful days, and times of wild desire.

With gall-steeped, freely-flowing pen I scathingly would satirise
Life's follies, pomps and vanities, hypocrisy, and such,
Luxurious extravagance, where gilded homes of Fat arise --
These but a sample of the themes my fertile pen would touch.

Spring poems, wreathed in wattle bloom, I'd cleverly manipulate,
The swagman with Matilda, round the camp-fire burning bright,
And such the rush of publishers, 'twere mine the task to stipulate
For terms that famous singers get for carolling each night.

Then poesy would tingle in each vein of my anatomy,
Ooze ever from my finger-tips, my only form of speech,
My name be hailed in distant lands, the world would lift its hat to me,
If only Inspiration were within convenient reach.

First published in The Bulletin, 10 May 1906

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 3, 2007 8:57 AM.

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