5 JULY 1884, Page 21



On, foolish world ! The writer's necromancy At times is powerless on the restive pen ; And the blank page reflects the lagging fancy, Which has no message then.

The honest schoolboy, of his cricket dreaming, Could trace no ruder figures o'er the slate Than those which yield my brain, with Nothing teeming, Outlet articulate.

My tale of work, in well-considered order, Lies fair before me on the laden desk ; But nothing in me speaks, save dreams that border The grave with the grotesque.

Plans jotted down for many-sided labour, Invite in turn from various pigeon-boles, Where the next story has some play for neighbour, Stocked with imagined souls.

Yet spite of Will (o'er which men make such pother), I cannot call one spirit from the deep, Where all the thoughts, which crowded each on other, Like very Merlin sleep.

Is it the sweet and heavy hum of Summer, Full charged with the mesmeric scent of thyme, That, through my window an unbidden comer, Dissolves them into rhyme ? Is it the Sun, in his new kinghood sharing The message of pure luxury with me, Which to the footsteps of his throne is bearing The murmur of the sea ?- And whispering, " Rest thee, over-anxious mortal, Awhile oblivious of the world's commands, Content to offer at my golden portal A chaplet from thy hands.

"E'en weave it as thou wilt; thy garden musters Mute hints of ditties to inspire the lute ; And to thy lips and sense stoop mingled clusters Of glowing flower and fruit.

" Bring me no ode of an heroic measure; Tell me no tale ; seek no satiric theme ; But merely babble, out of very pleasure, Thine unconnected dream."

What could I answer ? All the heat was singing, The insect chorus hummed in undertone ; Slow to my feet my mighty dog was bringing A too-exacting bone.

So happy in mere happiness of living, I let the morn slip unimproved by, And, past the hope of cultured man's forgiving, Thus " diem perdidi."

So have I writ lines that begin and end not, An idle morning's thriftless castaway;

For whence they came, and whither tend or tend not, Critic ! 'tis thine to say.