The Æsthete.

A poem by William Schwenck Gilbert

If you're anxious for to shine in the high æsthetic line, as a man of culture rare,
You must get up all the germs of the transcendental terms, and plant them everywhere.
You must lie upon the daisies and discourse in novel phrases of your complicated state of mind,
The meaning doesn't matter if it's only idle chatter of a transcendental kind.
And everyone will say,
As you walk your mystic way,
"If this young man expresses himself in terms too deep for me,
Why, what a very singularly deep young man this deep young man must be!"

Be eloquent in praise of the very dull old days which have long since passed away,
And convince 'em if you can, that the reign of good Queen Anne was Culture's palmiest day.
Of course you will pooh-pooh whatever's fresh and new, and declare it's crude and mean,
And that art stopped short in the cultivated court of the Empress Josephine,
And everyone will say,
As you walk your mystic way,
"If that's not good enough for him which is good enough for me,
Why, what a very cultivated kind of youth this kind of youth must be!"

Then a sentimental passion of a vegetable fashion must excite your languid spleen,
An attachment a la Plato for a bashful young potato, or a not-too-French French bean.
Though the Philistines may jostle, you will rank as an apostle in the high æsthetic band,
If you walk down Picadilly with a poppy or a lily in your mediæval hand.
And everyone will say,
As you walk your flowery way,
"If he's content with a vegetable love which would certainly not suit me,
Why, what a most particularly pure young man this pure young man must be!"

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