The Properly Scholarly Attitude

1   The poet pursues his beautiful theme;
2The preacher his golden beatitude;
3   And I run after a vanishing dream --
4   The glittering, will-o'-the-wispish gleam
5Of the properly scholarly attitude --
6The highly desirable, the very advisable,
7The hardly acquirable, properly scholarly attitude.
8   I envy the savage without any clothes,
9Who lives in a tropical latitude;
10   It's little of general culture he knows.
11   But then he escapes the worrisome woes
12Of the properly scholarly attitude --
13The unceasingly sighed over, wept over, cried over,
14The futilely died over, properly scholarly attitude.
15   I work and I work till I nearly am dead,
16And could say what the watchman said -- that I could!
17   But still, with a sigh and a shake of the head,
18   ."You don't understand,." it is ruthlessly said,
19."The properly scholarly attitude --
20The aye to be sought for, wrought for and fought for,
21The ne'er to be caught for, properly scholarly attitude --."
22   I really am sometimes tempted to say
23That it's merely a glittering platitude;
24   That people have just fallen into the way,
25   When lacking a subject, to tell of the sway
26Of the properly scholarly attitude --
27The easily preachable, spread-eagle speechable,
28In practice unreachable, properly scholarly attitude.
Publication Notes: 
Alkalay-Gut, Karen. Alone in the Dawn: The Life of Adelaide Crapsey (Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 1988): 234. PS 3505 R277 .Z54 Robarts Library. 1st ed. Vassarion (1901): 189.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire