Ebenezer Elliott

In these days . . .

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In these days, every mother's son or daughter
Writes verse, which no one reads except the writer,
Although, uninked, the paper would be whiter,
And worth, per ream, a hare, when you have caught her.
Hundreds of unstaunched Shelleys daily water
Unanswering dust; a thousand Wordsworths scribble;
And twice a thousand Corn Law Rhymers dribble
Rhymed prose, unread. Hymners of fraud and slaughter,
By cant called other names, alone find buyers --
Who buy, but read not. "What a loss in paper,"
Groans each immortal of the host of sighers!
"What profanation of the midnight taper
In expirations vile! But I write well,
And wisely print. Why don't my poems sell?"

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Ebenezer Elliott