Henry Austin Dobson

(18 January 1840 – 2 September 1921 / Plymouth)

Knickerbocker


Shade of Herrick, Muse of Locker,
Help me sing of Knickerbocker!
Boughton, had you bid me chant
Hymns to Peter Stuyvesant,
Had you bid me sing of Wouter,
He, the onion head, the doubter!
But to rhyme of this one—Mocker!
Who shall rhyme to Knickerbocker?
Nay, but where my hand must fail,
There the more shall yours avail;
You shall take your brush and paint
All that ring of figures quaint,—
All those Rip Van Winkle jokers,
All those solid-looking smokers,
Pulling at their pipes of amber,
In the dark-beamed Council Chamber.

Only art like yours can touch
Shapes so dignified—and Dutch;
Only art like yours can show
How the pine logs gleam and glow,
Till the firelight laughs and passes
'Twixt the tankards and the glasses,
Touching with responsive graces
All those grave Batavian faces,
Making bland and beatific
All that session soporific.

Then I come and write beneath:
Boughton, he deserves the wreath;
He can give us form and hue—
This the Muse can never do!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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