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Collected Poems

Epitaph for a Trilogist

Epitaph for a Trilogist

Two trilogies, ten good-sized buckets full
of novels for the middle-class, all much alike
one another, capable and dull,
and many clever articles and such-like—
these were the excrement of his long toil.
And so for twenty years or more he kept
old men and women at their midnight oil,
and old maids at their candles, ere they slept,
with records of suburban loves and hates,
garnished with sentiment, and spiced with lust;
hatched out a Book Club; lectured in the States;
and still spewed book on book, till in disgust
a dozen bored reviewers took to drink.
And when he died, they say, his very grave
yawned; while the worms, forgathered by the brink,
fond welcome to a fellow-creature gave.