By A. C. S.
The Centuries kiss and commingle,
Cling, clasp, and are knit in a chain;
No cycle but scorns to be single,
No two but demur to be twain,
'Till the land of the lute and the love-tale
Be bride of the boreal breast,
And the dawn with the darkness shall dovetail,
The East with the West.
The desire of the grey for the dun nights
Is that of the dun for the grey;
The tales of the Thousand and One Nights
Touch lips with 'The Times' of to-day.--
Come, chasten the cheap with the classic;
Choose, Churton, thy chair and thy class,
Mix, melt in the must that is Massic
The beer that is Bass!
Omnipotent age of the Aorist!
Infinitely freely exact!--
As the fragrance of fiction is fairest
If frayed in the furnace of fact--
Though nine be the Muses in number
There is hope if the handbook be one,--
Dispelling the planets that cumber
The path of the sun.
Though crimson thy hands and thy hood be
With the blood of a brother betrayed,
O Would-be-Professor of Would-be,
We call thee to bless and to aid.
Transmuted would travel with Er, see
The Land of the Rolling of Logs,
Charmed, chained to thy side, as to Circe
The Ithacan hogs.
O bourne of the black and the godly!
O land where the good niggers go.
With the books that are borrowed of Bodley,
Old moons and our castaway clo'!
There, there, till the roses be ripened
Rebuke us, revile, and review,
Then take thee thine annual stipend
So long over-due.