(AN INFANT OF QUALITY.) I TraN from m the Queen of the Epic Plunging her fiery car Through the crash of Homeric battle Where the toil-stained warriors are : And the hyran of superb achievement Such as bolder singers use I leave as I lay my garland At the feet of the nursery Muse.
For she bids me remember, Humphrey, That men may be beggars or kings, But the way of their coming and going, These be momentous things : She deems them amazing figures To count in the human sum, And she holds you a thing of interest Already, for you have come.
In the land where the sun of to-morrow Illumines a phantom earth, Where you were with the babes of the Future, That await their hour of birth, When they called through the summer starlight For the soul of a man to go, There were lots of round little Humphreys Standing about in a row. And some they sent to the palace, To be proud of their birth and blood, And some they sent to the gutter, To be proud of their pies of mud; Some to be christened in nectar, And some to be soaked in beer ; But you were a fortunate atom, For they settled to send you here.
They ordered the child you played with Away to a squalid place, While they crowned you the prattling monarch
Of a rich and a noble race—
His sires were the common pebbles, When Deucalion's rocks were thrown, While yours on the foam of the deluge Were tossed in an ark of their own.
For still on the boards of existence Shall the unknown super stand At the side of the strutting player Who is bailed by the clapping hand ; And still the unanswered problem Of the rags and the velvet sticks, That a man should be born to the halfpence And a man should be born to the kicks.