Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ELECTION ADDRESS (TO CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, 1882), by JAMES KENNETH STEPHEN



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AN ELECTION ADDRESS (TO CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, 1882), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I venture to suggest that I / am rather noticeably fit
Last Line: Respectability I can.
Alternate Author Name(s): Stephen, J. K.
Subject(s): Cambridge University; Clergy; Elections; Politics & Government; Priests; Rabbis; Ministers; Bishops; Voting; Voters; Suffrage


I venture to suggest that I
Am rather noticeably fit
To hold the seat illumined by
The names of Palmerston and Pitt.

My principles are such as you
Have often heard expressed before:
They are, without exception, true;
And who can say, with candor, more?

My views concerning Church and State
Are such as bishops have professed:
I need not recapitulate
The arguments on which they rest.

Respecting Ireland, I opine
That Ministers are in a mess,
That Landlords rule by Right Divine,
That Firmness will relieve Distress.

I see with horror undisguised
That freedom of debate is dead:
The Liberals are organised;
The Caucus rears its hideous head.

Yet need'st thou, England, not despair
At Chamberlain's or Gladstone's pride,
While Henry Cecil Raikes is there
To organise the other side.

I never quit, as others do,
Political intrigue to seek
The dingy literary crew,
Or hear the voice of science speak.

But I have fostered, guided, planned
Commercial enterprise: in me
Some ten or twelve directors and
Six worthy chairmen you may see.

My academical career
Was free from any sort of blot:
I challenge anybody here
To demonstrate that it was not.

At classics, too, I worked amain,
Whereby I did not only pass,
But even managed to obtain
A very decent second class.

And since those early days, the same
Success has crowned the self-same plan:
Profundity I cannot claim;
Respectability I can.





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