There once was a time when I revelled
rhyme, with Valentines deluged my cousins,
Translated Tibullus and half of Catullus,
poems produced by the dozens.
Now my tale is nigh told, for my blood’s
cold, all my laurels lie yellow and faded.
“We have come to the boss;”
 like a weary old
hoss, poor Pegasus limps, and is jaded.
And yet Mr. Editor, like a stern creditor,
me for this or that article,
Though he very well knows that of Verse
prose I am stripped to the very last particle.
What shall I write of? What subject
All my vis viva is failing;
Emeritus sum; Mons Parnassus is
dumb, and my
prayers to the Nine unavailing.—
Thus in vain have I often attempted to
the hard heart of Mr. Arenae;
Like a sop, I must throw him some sort
poem, in spite of unwilling Camenae.
* * * * * *
No longer I roam in my Johnian home, no
in the “wilderness” wander;
And absence we know, for the Poet says
makes the heart of the lover grow fonder.
I pine for the Cam, like a runaway lamb
misses his woolly-backed mother;
I can find no relief for my passionate
my groanings disconsolate smother.
Say, how are you all in our old College
Are the dinners more costly, or plainer?
How are Lecturers, Tutors, Tobacco and
and how is my friend, the Complainer?
Are the pupils of Merton, and students
increasing in numbers, or fewer?
Are they pretty, or plain? Humble-minded
vain? Are they paler, or pinker, or bluer?
How’s the party of stormers, our
Reformers? Are Moral and Natural Sciences
Improving men’s Minds? Who
the money now
finds, for Museums, and all their appliances?
Is Philosophy thriving, or sound sense
Is high-table talk metaphysic?
Will dark blue or light have the best
fight, at Putney and Mortlake and Chiswick?
I often importune the favour of Fortune,
misadventure may cross us,
And Rhodes once again on the watery plain,
may prove an aquatic Colossus.
[N.B. since I wrote I must add a short
by means of new fangled devices,
Our “Three” was unseated,
and we were
defeated, and robbed of our laurels by Isis.]—
O oft do I dream of the muddy old stream,
Father of wisdom and knowledge,