Forgive us you, whose pageant flames
With youth and beauty and the morning,
If blows like dust across your stage
The breath of things too stale for scorning;
How should you flout these mummied queens
Or mock them when you never met them —
In lost Victorian scenes, so far
That men forget that they forget them?

How should you guess, of these grey jests,
If mocked or mocker be more silly —
With Maeterlinck a Missing Link
And Willie Yeats a Weary Willie,
Or if Conviction or Convention
Marshalled those fashions long ago
Or if Pinero rhymes to Hero
Or only rhymes to " in a row " ?

Cras vobis . Even the fervent youth
Who faintly murmurs, " Rather rotten "
Shall rot with Shelley and St. Paul
These that forget shall be forgotten

Even in Arlen time shall quench
St. Michael's faith, the ecstatic flame
And Mr. Coward toes no more
The crest of his crusading name.

Forgive these Phantasmal things
The ghosts of Ghosts, in Ibsen's day
For he that writes them is a ghost
And as you gaze, he fades away.
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