To Correspondents

Original Text: 
The Poetical Works of Andrew Lang, ed. Mrs. Lang, 4 vols. (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1923): III, 97-98. British Library
1MY postman, though I fear thy tread,
2    And tremble as thy foot draws nearer,
4    My mortal foe is much severer --
5The unknown correspondent, who,
6    With indefatigable pen,
7And nothing in the world to do,
8    Perplexes literary men.
11The people of the Shetlands send
12    No inconsiderable quota;
13They write for autographs; in vain --
14    In vain does Phyllis write, and Flora;
17They write to say that they have met
18    This writer 'at a garden party,
19And though' this writer 'may forget'
20    Their recollection 's keen and hearty;
21'And will you praise in your reviews
22    A novel by our distant cousin.'
23These letters from provincial blues
24    Assail us daily by the dozen.
25O friends with time upon your hands,
26    O friends with postage-stamps in plenty,
27O poets out of many lands,
28    O youths and maidens under twenty,
29Seek out some other wretch to bore,
30    Or wreak yourselves upon your neighbours,
31And leave me to my dusty lore
32    And my unprofitable labours!


3] dun: bill. Back to Line
9] Pentecost: an island in the New Hebrides in the Pacific Ocean.
Ponder's End: in the borough of Enfield, London. Back to Line
10] Deal: one of the cinque ports, in Kent.
Dacota: the Dakotas, in the mid-west United States. Back to Line
15] Allan Quatermain: an adventure novel by H. Rider Haggard. Back to Line
16] Brora: a town in northern Scotland on the North Sea. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001