Daily Chronicle, April 22, 1903
1 (“The issue of books during the past week has been meagre owing to the interruptions of the Easter holidays, but nothing stays the productiveness of the minor poet.”—Academy)
Sir, Mr. Editor, I need
Your kind assistance sadly.
My life’s a blank. It is, indeed.
I’m treated very badly.
I’m not the horse I used to be.
That tired feeling racks me.
I’m old. I’m lame. And still, you see,
These poets overtax me.
But please don’t think I like to shirk.
Who deems that sloth’s my joy errs.
Far otherwise. I love to work
For capable employers.
Ask anyone. They’ll say it’s true.
No, what extracts these moans is
The cruel jobs I’m forced to do
For Smiths and Browns and Joneses.
When Shakespeare plied his facile pen,
When Milton sang his measures,
Work never used to vex me then.
It ranked amongst my pleasures.
When Shelley asked me for a rhyme,
You never caught me frowning.
I liked to labour overtime
For men like Keats and Browning.
But since I served the mighty dead,
The times have altered greatly.
And I’ve been growing, as I said,
A good deal lamer lately.
So use your influence, I pray.
(It’s huge. I scorn to flatter.)
And get the good S.P.C.A.
To look into the matter.
P. G. W.
“The issue of books during the past week, owing to the interruptions of the Easter holidays, has been very meagre. But nothing stays the productiveness of the minor poet. No fewer than six volumes of verse have reached us since last Tuesday, ranging from a drama of the years 1431–2 to a sheaf of verses "occasionally humourous," in one of which the author frankly states that "No meanings in my poems lurk, beyond what any man can see." (The Academy and Literature, April 18, 1903)
The references to Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek myth, presumably relate to his role in bringing forth the Muses from the fountain of Hippocrene, and his later service to the Muses.