After A. C. S.
In Spring there are lashings of new books,
In Autumn fresh novels are sold,
They are many, but my shelf has few books,
My comrades, the favourites of old;
Tho' the roll of the cata-logues vary,
Thou alone art unchangeably dear,
O bibulous, beautiful Sairey,
Our Lady of Cheer.
By the whites of thine eyes that were yellow,
By the folds of thy duplicate chin,
By thy voice that was husky but mellow
With gin, with the richness of gin,
By thy scorn of the boy that was Bragian,
By thy wealth of perambulate swoons,
O matchless and mystical Magian,
Beguile us with boons.
For thou scatterest the evil before us
With grave humours and exquisite speech,
Till we heed not the 'new men that bore us,'
Nor regard the new women that screech;
We are weak, but thy hand shall refresh us;
We are faint, but we know thee sublime;
More priceless than pills, and more precious
Than draughts that are slime.
Thou hast lifted us forth from the melly,
Thou hast told, with thick heavings of pride,
Of the Package in Jonadge's belly,
And the Camel that rich folks may ride;
From the mire and the murk of a stern Age
In the Font of St. Polge we are clean,
O Gold as has passed through the Furnage,
Our Lady and Queen.
In thy chamber where Holborn is highest,
At the banquet, ere night had begun,
Thou wert seated with her that was nighest
Thy heart, save the Only, the One;
For the hours of thy labour were ended,
And the spirit of peace was within,
And the fumes from the teapot ascended
Of unsweetened gin.
Dost thou dream in dim dusk when light lingers,
Of Betsy, the bage, the despiged,
Who with snap of imperious fingers
Hariçina, thy figment, deniged?
Dost thou gasp at the shock of the blow sich
As she, in her tantrum, let fall,
Who 'didn't believe there was no sich
A person' at all?
Fear not! Though the torters be frightful,
Though the words that thou took'st unawares
Be as serpiants that twine and are spiteful,
O thou best of good creeturs, who cares?
For the curse hath recoiled, and the stigma
Thou hast turned to her sorrer and shame,
While thy cryptic and sombre Enigma
Is shrined in a Name.
And our wine shall not lack for thy throttle,
Nor at night shall our portals be cloged,
And thy lips thou shalt place to the bottle
On our chimley, when so thou'rt dispoged;
We have pickled 'intensely' our salmon;
To thy moods are great cowcumbers dressed,
O Daughter of Gumption and Gammon,
Our Mistress and Guest!
And in hours when our lamp-ile has dwindled
In deep walleys of uttermost pain,
When our hopes to grey ashes are kindled,
We are fain of thee still, we are fain;
In this Piljian's Projiss of Woe, in
This Wale of white shadders and damp,
O Roge all a-blowin' and growin',
We open our Gamp!