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Poem by Owen Seaman

England's Alfred Abroad

[M. Alfred Austin, poète-lauréat dAngleterre, vient darriver à Nice, où il a devancé la Reine. Il était, hier, dans les jardins de Monte-Carlo. Sera-ce sous notre ciel quil écrira son premier poème?Menton-Mondain.]

Wrong? are they wrong? Of course they are,
I venture to reply;
For I bore my first (and, I hope, my worst)
A month or so gone by;
And I cant repeat it under this
Or any other sky.

What! has the public never heard
In these benighted climes
That nascent note of my Laureate throat,
That fluty fitte of rhymes
Which occupied about a half
A column of the Times?

They little know what they have lost,
Nor what a carnal beano
They might have spent in the thick of Lent
If only Daniel Leno
Had sung them Jamesons Ride and knocked
The Monaco Casino.

Some day the croupiers furtive eyes
Will all be wringing wet;
Even the Prince will hardly mince
The language of regret
At entertaining unawares
The famed Alhambra Pet.

But still not quite incognito
I mark the moving scene,
In a tepid zone where (like my own)
The palms are ever green,
And find myself reported as
A herald of the Queen.

Here where aloft the heavens are blue,
And blue the seas below,
I roll my eye and fondly try
To get the rhymes to go,
As I pace The Garden that I love,
Composing all I know.

But when my poet-pinions droop,
And all the air is wan,
I enter in to the courts of sin
And put a louis on,
And hold my heart and look again,
And lo! the thing is gone!

Wrong? is it wrong? To baser crafts
Has Englands Alfred pandered,
Who once to the sign of Phœbus shrine
With awesome gait meandered,
And ever wrote in the cause of right
According to his Standard?

Nay! this is life! to take a turn
On Fortunes captious crust;
To pluck the day in a human way
Like men of common dust;
But O! if Englands only bard
Should absolutely bust!

A laureate never borrows on
His coming quarters pay;
And I mean to stop or ever I pop
My crown of peerless bay;
So Ill take the next rapide to Nice,
And the bus to Cimiez.

Owen Seaman

Owen Seaman's other poems:
  1. To Belgium in Exile
  2. For the Red Cross
  3. Tactless Tactics
  4. Fashions for Men
  5. To an Old Fogey

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