Walter Alexander Raleigh (1861-1922)
Song of Myself
1I was a Poet!
2But I did not know it,
3Neither did my Mother,
4Nor my Sister nor my Brother.
5The Rich were not aware of it;
6The Poor took no care of it.
7The Reverend Mr. Drewitt
8Never knew it.
9The High did not suspect it;
10The Low could not detect it.
12Said it was obviously untrue.
14Said I was off my head:
15(This from a Colonial
16Was really a good testimonial.)
17Still everybody seemed to think
18That genius owes a good deal to drink.
19So that is how
20I am not a poet now,
22My inspiration has run dry.
23It is no sort of use
24To cultivate the Muse
25If vulgar people
26Can't tell a village pump from a church steeple.
27I am merely apologizing
28For the lack of the surprising
29In what I write
31I am quite well-meaning,
32But a lot of things are always intervening
34What I mean
35And what it is said
36I had in my head.
37It is all very puzzling.
39Says Poets need muzzling.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Laughter from a Cloud, foreword by Hilary Raleigh (London: Constable, 1923): 89-90. British Library 012273.bbb.7
First publication date:
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2001
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/13
Composition date note: Stein, Switzerland, August 1910.
Other poems by Walter Alexander Raleigh