TO A POLICEMAN POET.
Daily Chronicle, November 24, 1902
Whene’er I met you in the street,
I own I found it hard
To recognise that on your beat
There paced a brother bard.
And when I saw you boldly stand
And rule converging traffics,
I little thought that white-gloved hand
Had manufactured Sapphics.
When by my door at night you passed
You searched, I thought, for crime.
Your quarry, I perceive at last,
Was nothing but a rhyme.
I knew not why you seemed so moved,
Nor why your bosom heaved.
The only numbers you approved
Were cabmen’s, I believed.
When notes I saw you jotting down,
I thought you wrote in prose.
I never dreamed that thoughtful frown
Was due to lyric throes.
A Tennyson you may have been,
But nought there was to show it.
Your hair was short, your eye was keen.
You didn’t look the poet.
And yet who else so fit to don
The crown the Muse bestows?
Perpetually moving on,
Each lyric smoothly flows.
And when reports I chance to read
Of motor legislation,
I gather from your views on speed
Your keen imagination.
P. G. W.
Policeman Poet: London now has a policeman poet, just as Leeds has its policeman painter. The King has been graciously pleased to accept a copy of “Ballads in Blue,” by Police Constable George Mitchell, of the Metropolitan Police Force. This is Mr. Mitchell’s first appearance as a poet in volume form. The book is sold for the benefit of the Provincial Police Orphanage, Redhill. (Surrey Mirror, November 7, 1902)