Home  »  library  »  Song  »  George Meason Whicher (1860–1937)

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

George Meason Whicher (1860–1937)

In Usum Delphini

HOW fain were I, O Curly-pate,

To smooth the wrinkle from thy brow,

The tangled sentence to make straight,

Nor vex thee with the why and how.

But darker riddles for thee wait:

Who may emend the scroll of fate?

That moldering myth of lust and hate

For thee how gladly I’d revise,

Nor suffer aught to desecrate

The gleam of those unsullied eyes:

This page I’d spare thee to translate;

But who man’s heart can expurgate?

In vain for boyhood’s prince-estate

Our love betrays the bitter trust.

The Three no tribute will abate

From king or churl: all mortals must—

Or on the throne or at the gate—

Read life’s full lesson soon or late.