O bard, all baggy at the knees,
Whose goods the soulless bailiffs seize!
Bard, with the frayed, unlaundered cuff.
Get off old Pegasus! Enough!
For, mark the stern and cold decree --
They "do not pay for poetry."
Rise and gard of commerce don:
Alas! they occupation's gone!
Go, get thee to a draper's store,
And learn by heart the draping lore.
Go, place thyself before the stock
And vend the unaesthetic sock.
Go, learn by groceing art to rob,
And peddle butter to the mob.
Go 'mong or merce or haberdash,
Or with the butcher butch for cash.
Go, e'en to win a humble meal,
And burgle, garrot, thug, or steal.
Some fresh employment you must choose,
For there's no money in the Muse.
O bard, your soul's dark curtains draw --
This, this is sure the final straw! --
And chant the doleful dirge with me:
"They do no pay for poetry!"
First published in The Gadfly, 23 October 1907
Note: this differs from the poem, with the same title, that Dennis wrote for The Critic in 1905.