Thursday, August 08, 2013


On the Hurry of This Time

Austin Dobson (1840-1921), "On the Hurry of This Time," in his Collected Poems, 5th ed. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd, 1902), p. 472:
                    (To F.G.)

With slower pen men used to write,
        Of old, when "letters" were "polite;"
    In ANNA'S, or in GEORGE'S days,
    They could afford to turn a phrase
Or trim a straggling theme aright.

They knew not steam; electric light
Not yet had dazed their calmer sight;—
    They meted out both blame and praise
        With slower pen.

Too swiftly now the Hours take flight!
What's read at morn is dead at night:
    Scant space have we for Art's delays,
    Whose breathless thought so briefly stays,
We may not work—ah! would we might!—
        With slower pen.

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