by George Meredith
Oracle of the market! thence you drew
The taste which stamped you guide of the inept. -
A North-sea pilot, Hildebrand yclept,
A sturdy and a briny, once men knew.
He loved small beer, and for that copious brew,
To roll ingurgitation till he slept,
Rations exchanged with flavour for the adept:
And merrily plied him captain, mate and crew.
At last this dancer to the Polar star
Sank, washed out within, and overboard was pitched,
To drink the sea and pilot him to land.
O captain-critic! printed, neatly stitched,
Know while the pillory-eggs fly fast, they are
Not eggs, but the drowned soul of Hildebrand.
Last updated January 14, 2019