Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE POET OF FASHION, by JAMES SMITH (1775-1839)



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THE POET OF FASHION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: His book is successful, he's steeped in renown
Last Line: The poet of fashion dines out in barge yard.
Subject(s): London; Poetry & Poets


His book is successful, he's steeped in renown,
His lyric effusions have tickled the town;
Dukes, dowagers, dandies, are eager to trace
The fountain of verse in the verse-maker's face;
While, proud as Apollo, with peers tete-a-tete,
From Monday till Saturday dining off plate,
His heart full of hope, and his head full of gain,
The Poet of Fashion dines out in Park Lane.

Now lean-jointured widows who seldom draw corks,
Whose tea-spoons do duty for knives and for forks,
Send forth, vellum-covered, a six o'clock card,
And get up a dinner to peep at the bard:
Veal, sweetbread, boiled chickens, and tongue, crown the cloth,
And soup a la reine, little better than broth;
While, past his meridian, but still with some heat,
The Poet of Fashion dines out in Sloane Street.

Enrolled in the tribe who subsist by their wits,
Remembered by starts and forgotten by fits,
Now artists and actors, the bardling engage,
To squib in the journals, and write for the stage.
Now soup a la reine bends the knee to ox-cheek,
And chickens and tongue bow to bubble and aqueak--
While, still in translation employed by 'The Row,'
The Poet of Fashion dines out in Soho.

Pushed down from Parnassus to Phlegethon's brink,
Tossed, torn, and trunk-lining, but still with some ink,
Now squab city misses their albums expand,
And woo the worn rhymer for 'something off-hand,'
No longer with stilted effrontery fraught,
Bucklersbury now seeks what St. James's once sought,
And (O what a classical haunt for a bard!)
The Poet of Fashion dines out in Barge Yard.





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