O you chorus of indolent reviewers,

Irresponsible, indolent reviewers,

Look, I come to the test, a tiny poem

All composed in a metre of Catullus,

All in quantity, careful of my motion,

Like the skater on ice that hardly bears him,

Lest I fall unawares before the people,

Waking laughter in indolent reviewers.

Should I flounder awhile without a tumble

Thro’ this metrification of Catullus,

They should speak to me not without a welcome,

All that chorus of indolent reviewers.

Hard, hard, hard it is, only not to tumble,

So fantastical is the dainty meter.

Wherefore slight me not wholly, nor believe me

Too presumptuous, indolent reviewers.

O blatant Magazines, regard me rather –

Since I blush to belaud myself a moment –

As some rare little rose, a piece of inmost

Horticultural art, or half-coquette-like

Maiden, not to be greeted unbenignly.





Lord Alfred Tennyson

More poems by Baron Alfred, Lord Tennyson