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Table of contents
AMORY, SON OF BEATRICE
SPIRES AND GARGOYLES
THE EGOTIST CONSIDERS
NARCISSUS OFF DUTY
THE DEBUTANTE
EXPERIMENTS IN CONVALESCENCE
YOUNG IRONY
THE SUPERCILIOUS SACRIFICE
THE EGOTIST BECOMES A PERSONAGE

Three times a week 

You hold us helpless while you speak, 

Teasing our thirsty souls with the 

Sleek 'yeas' of your philosophy... 

Well, here we are, your hundred sheep, 

Tune up, play on, pour forth... we sleep... 

You are a student, so they say; 

You hammered out the other day 

A syllabus, from what we know 

Of some forgotten folio; 

You'd sniffled through an era's must, 

Filling your nostrils up with dust, 

And then, arising from your knees, 

Published, in one gigantic sneeze... 

But here's a neighbor on my right, 

An Eager Ass, considered bright; 

Asker of questions.... How he'll stand, 

With earnest air and fidgy hand, 

After this hour, telling you 

He sat all night and burrowed through 

Your book.... Oh, you'll be coy and he 

Will simulate precosity, 

And pedants both, you'll smile and smirk, 

And leer, and hasten back to work.... 

 

'Twas this day week, sir, you returned 

A theme of mine, from which I learned 

(Through various comment on the side 

Which you had scrawled) that I defied 

The _highest rules of criticism_ 

For _cheap_ and _careless_ witticism.... 

'Are you quite sure that this could be?' 

And 

'Shaw is no authority!' 

But Eager Ass, with what he's sent, 

Plays havoc with your best per cent. 

 

Still--still I meet you here and there... 

When Shakespeare's played you hold a chair, 

And some defunct, moth-eaten star 

Enchants the mental prig you are... 

A radical comes down and shocks 

The atheistic orthodox? 

You're representing Common Sense, 

Mouth open, in the audience. 

And, sometimes, even chapel lures 

That conscious tolerance of yours, 

That broad and beaming view of truth 

(Including Kant and General Booth...) 

And so from shock to shock you live, 

A hollow, pale affirmative... 

 

The hour's up... and roused from rest 

One hundred children of the blest 

Cheat you a word or two with feet 

That down the noisy aisle-ways beat... 


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