Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  A New Poet

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William Canton b. 1845

A New Poet

I WRITE. He sits beside my chair,

And scribbles, too, in hushed delight;

He dips his pen in charméd air:

What is it he pretends to write?

He toils and toils; the paper gives

No clue to aught he thinks. What then?

His little heart is glad; he lives

The poems that he cannot pen.

Strange fancies throng that baby brain.

What grave, sweet looks! What earnest eyes!

He stops—reflects—and now again

His unrecording pen he plies.

It seems a satire on myself,—

These dreamy nothings scrawled in air,

This thought, this work! Oh tricksy elf,

Wouldst drive thy father to despair?

Despair! Ah, no; the heart, the mind

Persists in hoping,—schemes and strives

That there may linger with our kind

Some memory of our little lives.

Beneath his rock i’ the early world

Smiling the naked hunter lay,

And sketched on horn the spear he hurled,

The urus which he made his prey.

Like him I strive in hope my rhymes

May keep my name a little while,—

O child, who knows how many times

We two have made the angels smile!