The Great War

from Retrogression and Other Poems: Electronic Edition


WHEN criticasters of a day

Seem to have sneered me quite away;

When with a pontiff's frown

Some dabbler puts me down;

When up from out the nursery start

Sages to teach me mine own art—

Guides in that field my share

Ploughed long before they were,

When gusts of fashion brief as vain

Sow wide a tasteless taste inane,

When Folly, night and morn,

Scatters on me her scorn;

When they who could bestow, refuse

With deathless spite the admitted dues;

When slanderous lips aver

I am the slanderer,

Then, draining mine appointed cup.

In patience do I gird me up.

Knowing that Time, one day.

All his arrears will pay.