Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: IV. Thought: Poetry: Books
The Ballad of Prose and Rhyme
Austin Dobson (1840–1921)
 
WHEN the ways are heavy with mire and rut,
  In November fogs, in December snows,
When the North Wind howls, and the doors are shut,—
  There is place and enough for the pains of prose;
  But whenever a scent from the whitethorn blows,        5
And the jasmine-stars at the casement climb,
  And a Rosalind-face at the lattice shows,
Then hey! for the ripple of laughing rhyme!
 
When the brain gets dry as an empty nut,
  When the reason stands on its squarest toes,        10
When the mind (like a beard) has a “formal cut,”—
  There is place and enough for the pains of prose;
  But whenever the May-blood stirs and glows,
And the young year draws to the “golden prime,”
  And Sir Romeo sticks in his ear a rose,—        15
Then hey! for the ripple of laughing rhyme!
 
In a theme where the thoughts have a pedant-strut,
  In a changing quarrel of “Ayes” and “Noes,”
In a starched procession of “If” and “But,”—
  There is place and enough for the pains of prose;        20
  But whenever a soft glance softer grows
And the light hours dance to the trysting-time,
  And the secret is told “that no one knows,”—
Then hey! for the ripple of laughing rhyme!
 
ENVOY
In the work-a-day world,—for its needs and woes,
        25
There is place and enough for the pains of prose;
But whenever the May-bells clash and chime,
Then hey! for the ripple of laughing rhyme!
 
 
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