Doomed Poesy


I thought one day, what’s better than

To write some lines, some stanzas,

And string them up, and dub them Art

And clap at these bonanzas?


I started; got a verse or two;

I felt the Muse’s shadow—

I got some sounds to jingle true,

But others simply rattled.


For rhyme dropped off, and form dissolved

To bits and broken measures;

Ideas sank into the silt

Of unrelated pleasures.


Bright images in fear gave up

My camp, for their own visions.

Pace went limping on weak legs

To a place of more precision.


Soon metaphors fatigued themselves,

And similes went stretching

Like rubber bands—while assonance

Jumped jigs none reckoned fetching.


And so, at last, my head fell low:

I saw no triumph coming—

I left the whole pile on a shelf

And walked off, softly humming!


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