Alfred Noyes (16 September 1880 – 25 June 1958 / Wolverhamton)
Fashion on fashion on fashion,
(With only the truth growing old!)
And here's the new purple of passion,
(And love waiting out in the cold)
They are crying new lamps for Aladdin,
New worlds for the old and the true;
And no one remembers the story
_The magic was not in the new._
They are crying a new rose for Eden,
A rose of green glass. I suppose
The only thing wrong with their rose is
The fact that it isn't a rose.
And here is a song without metre;
And, here again, nothing is wrong;
(For nothing on earth could be neater)
Except that--it isn't a song.
Well. Walk on your hands. It's the latest!
And feet are Victorian now;
And even our best and our greatest
Before that dread epithet bow.
The furniture goes for a song, now.
The sixties had horrible taste.
But the trouble is this--they've included
Some better things, too, in their haste.
Were they wrapped in the antimacassars,
Or sunk in a sofa of plush?
Did an Angelican bishop forget them,
And leave them behind in the crush?
Here's a turnex. It's going quite cheaply.
(It lived with stuffed birds in the hall!
And, of course, to a mind that thinks deeply
That settles it, once and for all.)
Here's _item_, a ring (very plain, sirs!),
And _item_, a God (but He's dead!);
They say we shall need Him again, sirs,
So--_item_, a cross for His head.
Yes, you'll need it again, though He's dead, sirs.
It is only the fashions that fly.
So here are the thorns for His head, sirs.
They'll keep till you need 'em. Who'll buy?
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