Poems of Andrew Lang
IN AUGUSTINUM DOBSON--JAM RUDE DONATUM
Dear Poet, now turned out to grass
(Like him who reigned in Babylon),
Forget the seasons overlaid
By business and the Board of Trade:
And sing of old-world lad and lass
As in the summers that are gone.
Back to the golden prime of Anne!
When you ambassador had been,
And brought o'er sea the King again,
Beatrix Esmond in his train,
Ah, happy bard to hold her fan,
And happy land with such a Queen!
We live too early, or too late,
You should have shared the pint of Pope,
And taught, well pleased, the shining shell
To murmur of the fair Lepel,
And changed the stars of St. John's fate
To some more happy horoscope.
By duchesses with roses crowned,
And fed with chicken and champagne,
Urbane and witty, and too wary
To risk the feud of Lady Mary,
You should have walked the courtly ground
Of times that cannot come again.
Bring back these years in verse or prose,
(I very much prefer your verse!)
As on some Twenty-Ninth of May
Restore the splendour and the sway,
Forget the sins, the wars, the woes -
The joys alone must you rehearse.
Forget the dunces (there is none
So stupid as to snarl at YOU);
So may your years with pen and book
Run pleasant as an English brook
Through meadows floral in the sun,
And shadows fragrant of the dew.
And thus at ending of your span -
As all must end--the world shall say,
"His best he gave: he left us not
A line that saints could wish to blot,
For he was blameless, though a man,
And though the poet, he was gay!"