The Lake Isle

Original Text: 
Ezra Pound, "Poems Old and New," Poetry: A Magazine of Verse 8.6 (Sept. 1916): 276. See also Ezra Pound's Poetry and Prose: Contributions to Periodicals, prefaced and arranged by Lea Baechler, A. Walton Litz, and James Longenbach (New York and London: Garland, 1991), II (1915-1917): 170. PS 3531 O82A6 1991 Robarts Library.
2Give me in due time, I beseech you, a little tobacco-shop,
3With the little bright boxes
4            piled up neatly upon the shelves
8            loose under the bright glass cases,
9And a pair of scales
10            not too greasy,
12For a flip word, and to tidy their hair a bit.
13    O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
14Lend me a little tobacco-shop,
15            or install me in any profession
16Save this damn'd profession of writing,
17            where one needs one's brains all the time.


1] A mild parody of W. B. Yeats' "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." Back to Line
5] cavendish: soft tobacco molded into cakes. Back to Line
6] shag: strong finely-cut tobacco. Back to Line
7] Virginia: tobacco grown in the state of Virginia in America. Back to Line
11] votailles: "whores" in Lustra (1917). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
See Gallup C234
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.