Lapsus Calami (Apr 1891)/To W. H.

An editorial note in the posthumous edition put out by the author's brother says that "These lines were addressed to the author's friend Mr William Harvey, of King's College." It was included in "Things One Would Rather Have Expressed Differently" section of Lapsus Calami, where the author dated it July 1882. In the third edition it is preceded by "Of W. S. (Mr)" in the "Sincere Flattery" section.

To W. H.

What are the habits of the ruby flood
We reek with? man had questioned many a year:
And William Harvey spoke in accents clear
These words: "the circulation of the blood."
Man owned that this was so, and asked for food;
And fate bestowed upon him beef and beer:
But beef was coarse, indelicate and sere:
So Harvey proffered Sauce and made it good.
My friend! be worthy of thy forbears' glory,
And if old truths thou canst not rediscover,
Yet canst thou live those truths out here on earth:
Make stagnant conversations, void of mirth,
To circulate with quip and crank and story,
Make life's dull dish with piquant sauce run over.

July 1882.