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THE POET'S SEAT
AN IDYLL OF THE SUBURBS
'Ille terrarum mihi præter omnes Angulus RIDET."
-HOR. ii. 6.
T was an elm-tree root of yore, With lordly trunk, before they lopped it, And weighty, said those five who bore
Its bulk across the lawn, and dropped it
With two young pear-trees to protect it,
He saw him with his Poet's eye,
The stately Maori, turned from etching The ruin of St. Paul's, to try
Some object better worth the sketching :He saw him, and it nerved his strength
What time he hacked and hewed and
Until the monster grew at length
The Master-piece to which he shaped it.
To wit a goodly garden-seat,
And one, but lower down, for coffee;
"Pansies for thoughts!" and rose and arum ; The Motto (that he meant to put) Was "Ille angulus terrarum."
But "Oh! the change" (as Milton sings)— "The heavy change!" When May departed, When June with its " delightful things"
Had come and gone, the rough bark started,— Began to lose its sylvan brown,
Grew parched, and powdery, and spotted; And, though the Poet nailed it down,
It still flapped up, and dropped, and rotted.
Nor was this all. 'Twas next the scene
Of vague (and viscous) vegetations;
And made it like an oyster grotto.
Briefly, it grew a seat of scorn,
Bare, shameless,-till, for fresh disaster, From end to end, one April morn,
'Twas riddled like a pepper caster,— Drilled like a vellum of old time;
And musing on this final mystery,
This was the turning of the tide ;
His five-act play is still unwritten; The dreams that now his soul divide
Are more of Lubbock than of Lytton; "Ballades" are verses vain" to him Whose first ambition is to lecture
(So much is man the sport of whim!). On "Insects and their Architecture."
ITH Verse, is Form the first, or Sense?
"Sense (cry the one Side),-Sense, of course.
"Form is the first (the Others bawl);
Just at this Point-for you must know,
All this was but the To-and-fro
Of MATT and DICK who played with Thought,
And lingered longer than they ought
(So pleasant 'tis to tap one's Box
And trifle round a Paradox !)—