Impetuously I sprang from bed,
Long before lunch was up,
That I might drain the dizzy dew
From the day's first golden cup.
In swift devouring ecstasy
Each toil in turn was done;
I had done lying on the lawn
Three minutes after one.
For me, as Mr. Wordsworth says,
The duties shine like stars;
I formed my uncle's character,
Decreasing his cigars.
But could my kind engross me? No!
Stern Art-what sons escape her?
Soon I was drawing Gladstone's nose
On scraps of blotting paper.
Then on-to play one-fingered tunes
Upon my aunt's piano.
In short, I have a headlong soul,
I much resemble Hanno.
(Forgive the entrance of the not
Too cogent Carthaginian.
It may have been to make a rhyme;
I lean to that opinion.)
Then my great work of book research
Till dusk I took in hand-
The forming of a final, sound
Opinion on The Strand.
But when I quenched the midnight oil,
And closed the Referee,
Whose thirty volumes folio
I take to bed with me,
I had a rather funny dream,
Intense, that is, and mystic;
I dreamed that, with one leap and yell,
The world became artistic.
The Shopmen, when their souls were still,
Declined to open shops-
And Cooks recorded frames of mind
In sad and subtle chops.
The stars were weary of routine:
The trees in the plantation
Were growing every fruit at once,
In search of sensation.
The moon went for a moonlight stroll,
And tried to be a bard,
And gazed enraptured at itself:
I left it trying hard.
The sea had nothing but a mood
Of 'vague ironic gloom,'
With which t'explain its presence in
My upstairs drawing-room.
The sun had read a little book
That struck him with a notion:
He drowned himself and all his fires
Deep in a hissing ocean.
Then all was dark, lawless, and lost:
I heard great devilish wings:
I knew that Art had won, and snapt
The Covenant of Things.
I cried aloud, and I awoke,
New labours in my head.
I set my teeth, and manfully
Began to lie in bed.
Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,
So I my life conduct.
Each morning see some task begun,
Each evening see it chucked.
But still, in sudden moods of dusk,
I hear those great weird wings,
Feel vaguely thankful to the vast
Stupidity of things.