A Grub Street Recessional

by Christopher Morley

Christopher Morley

O noble gracious English tongue
Whose fibres we so sadly twist,
For caitiff measures he has sung
Have pardon on the journalist.

For mumbled metre, leaden pun,
For slipshod rhyme, and lazy word,
Have pity on this graceless one--
Thy mercy on Thy servant, Lord!

The metaphors and tropes depart,
Our little clippings fade and bleach:
There is no virtue and no art
Save in straightforward Saxon speech.

Yet not in ignorance or spite,
Nor with Thy noble past forgot
We sinned: indeed we had to write
To keep a fire beneath the pot.

Then grant that in the coming time,
With inky hand and polished sleeve,
In lucid prose or honest rhyme
Some worthy task we may achieve--

Some pinnacled and marbled phrase,
Some lyric, breaking like the sea,
That we may learn, not hoping praise,
The gift of Thy simplicity.

Last updated November 03, 2022