Lapsus Calami (Aug 1891)/To My Readers

To My Readers  (1891) 

First published in the "Rescued from the Waste Paper Basket" section of the third edition of Lapsus Calami, "To My Readers" formed the conclusion of that volume.

I do not boast a poet's bays,
Nor claim to wield a poet's pen,
Nor do I hope for many days
To buzz about the mouths of men.

I claim to be the sort of man
Who studies metrical effect:
Whose verses generally scan:
Whose rhymes are commonly correct;

And when I chance upon a thought
Which seems to shape itself in rhyme,
I like to treat it as I ought,
Unless the theme be too sublime.

It may be pleasure to rehearse,
When twilight deepens out of day,
The tinkle of a tiny verse
Which wiled the noon-tide hours away.

It may be pleasure to recall
The friends of yesterday to-morrow
But that's a pleasure—if at all—
Which borders very near on sorrow.

So, if I try to make you laugh,
Or if I chance to make you weep,
Your comrade when you crunch and quaff,
Your solace when you cannot sleep.

Its merely as a common man
Who says what other people say,
And hopes to end as he began,
A treader of the beaten way.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.