A Jingle on the Times


" I am a painter
Of Earth's pied hue;
What can my pencil
Do for you?"
" — You can do nothing,
Nothing, nothing,
Nations want nothing
That you can do."


" I am a sculptor,
A worker who
Preserves dear features
The tombs enmew." —
" — Sculpture, sculpture!
More than sculpture
For dear remembrance
Have we to do."


" I am a poet,
And set in view
Life and its secrets
Old and new." —
" — Poets we read not,
Heed not, feed not,
Men now need not
What they do."


" I'm a musician,
And balm I strew
On the passions people
Are prone unto." —
" — Music? Passions
Calmed by music?
Nothing but passions
Today will do!"


" I am an actor;
The world's strange crew
In long procession
My masques review."
" — O it's not acting,
Acting, acting
And glassing nature
That's now to do!"


" I am an architect;
Once I drew
Glorious buildings,
And built them too." —
" — That was in peace-time,
Peace-time, peace-time,
Nought but demolishing
Now will do."


" I am a preacher:
I would ensue
Whatsoever things are
Lovely, true." —
" — Preachers are wordy,
Wordy, wordy;
Prodding's the preaching
We've now to do."


" How shall we ply, then,
Our old mysteries?" —
" — Silly ones! Must we
Show to you
What is the only
Good, artistic,
Cultured, Christian
Thing to do?


" To manners, amenities,
Bid we adieu, —
To the old lumber
Of Right and True!
Fighting, smiting,
Running through;
That's now the civilized
Thing to do."

December 1914
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