Poem: Wooing the Muse by Ethel Turner

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There is a girl who comes to school,
   Writes poems by the dozen
(I've heard it said some poet dead
   Was her grand-aunt's first cousin).

But she is merely short and stout,
   No claim has she to beauty,
Why should not I a poem try?
   I think it is my duty.

For I am tall, some say I'm fair,
   I've won a prize for spelling;
Well started then, with broad-nibbed pen,
   Great thoughts will soon come welling.

I think that I will write on Death,
   Like every other poet
(The word to rhyme will come in time,
   Just now I do not know it).

Deth, Meth, reth, seth, and likewise beth,
   Heth, feth, geth -- goodness gracious
I really thought, from all they've taught,
   The language was more spacious.

Perhaps I'd better write on Spring!
   Wing, sing, fling-ah, that's better;
"Come, gentle Spring, on birdlike wing"
(Next line start with large letter).

September is your own birth-month,
   Runth, dunth -- why, this is fearful;
Bunth, funth, and hunth, tunth, shunth, and skunth --
   I'm really getting tearful.

Perhaps she's got some special pen,
   That girl who scribbles verses,
Or owns some ink that makes you think.
   Perhaps some spell like Circe's

Descends to those who have the luck
   To own, midst their connections,
A great-aunt, whose first cousin's muse
   Could rhyme in all directions.

And now I think the matter out,
   I'm sure it will be better
To leave such trades to short, stout maids,
   Who have no looks to fetter.

And when you're tall and fair of face
   (Divinely fair, one flatters),
Rhythm and rhyme are waste of time,
   And simply senseless matters.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 6 March 1907

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 21, 2012 8:15 AM.

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