Miniver Cheevy

Original Text: 
Collected Poems, with an introduction by John Drinkwater (London: Cecil Palmer, 1922): 347-48. PS 3535 O25A17 1922 Robarts Library.
1Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
2    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
3He wept that he was ever born,
4    And he had reasons.
5Miniver loved the days of old
6    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
7The vision of a warrior bold
8    Would set him dancing.
9Miniver sighed for what was not,
10    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
13Miniver mourned the ripe renown
14    That made so many a name so fragrant;
15He mourned Romance, now on the town,
16    And Art, a vagrant.
18    Albeit he had never seen one;
19He would have sinned incessantly
20    Could he have been one.
21Miniver cursed the commonplace
23He missed the mediæval grace
24    Of iron clothing.
25Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
26    But sore annoyed was he without it;
27Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
28    And thought about it.
29Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
30    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
31Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
32    And kept on drinking.


11] Thebes: Greek city on the Nile.
Camelot: the mythical city of King Arthur's court. Back to Line
12] Priam: king of Troy, father of Aeneus (founder of Rome) and killed in the seven years' war with the Greek at Troy. Back to Line
17] Medici: rulers of Renaissance Florence known for both a love of scholarship and art, and a penchant for a pitiless use of power. Back to Line
22] a khaki suit: a military uniform, coloured yellow-brown. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Scribner's Magazine (March 1907): 357.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.