For The Avery "Knickerbocker."

A poem by Henry Austin Dobson

(With Original Drawings By G. H. Boughton.)

Shade of Herrick, Muse of Locker,
Help me sing of Knickerbocker!

BOUGHTON, had you bid me chant
Hymns to Peter Stuyvesant!
Had you bid me sing of Wouter,
(He! the Onion-head! the Doubter!)
But to rhyme of this one,--Mocker!
Who shall rhyme to Knickerbocker?

Nay, but where my hand must fail
There the more shall yours avail;
You shall take your brush and paint
All that ring of figures quaint,--
All those Rip-van-Winkle jokers,--
All those solid-looking smokers,
Pulling at their pipes of amber
In the dark-beamed Council-Chamber.

Only art like yours can touch
Shapes so dignified ... and Dutch;
Only art like yours can show
How the pine-logs gleam and glow,
Till the fire-light laughs and passes
'Twixt the tankards and the glasses,
Touching with responsive graces
All those grave Batavian faces,--
Making bland and beatific
All that session soporific.

Then I come and write beneath,
BOUGHTON, he deserves the wreath;
He can give us form and hue--
This the Muse can never do!

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