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!