A Penny For the Muse

In bed I lie
(A Grolsh not far away)
And cast my dice...
O Muse!
Let me not rely
On the inertia of contrived speech
To draw the starry theme-moth
Out of the dim corners of my room.
Let it be
A candle of inspiration.
It is all too often that poets scribble
Empty odes on subjects
Who surely grow weary of their praises
And prefer to be admired by less obsequious men,
Like a pretty girl besieged with suitors:
Surely the bird and the flower must beg for peace!
To be left alone but for a minutes pace.
(If there is a God, it must be more so with Him!)
But the Muse has grown senile
As new generations break in steady waves
On the shore of consciousness
Until that shore becomes likes the ocean,
A pool of echoing tides and undercurrents,
Recurrences minutely perturbed and redoubled
In a never-ending procession of theme-and-variation,
And it seems that all is timeless yet timely
In art as in life.

O Muse!
Forgive me, for I have rambled--
Not so badly as other poets I've partaken of
(Byron was a terrible rambler, for all his genius.)
And yet it's so.
It seems I need rhyme
To chasten my verbiage,
To bring my gawking steeds of Word to rein.
Alas, my penny becomes a quarter.
My Grolsh is spent and I tire.
O Muse!
Bring me something better next time,
Something that stirs my blood as I write,
Yet which does not recall any or all I've written to date.
I'll even meet you half-way;
Just name the place, O Muse.

George Chadderdon © 1995