In the cream gilded cabin of his steam yacht
Mr. Nixon advised me kindly, to advance with fewer
Dangers of delay. ‘Consider
Carefully the reviewer.
 
’I was as poor as you are;
‘When I began I got, of course,
’Advance on royalties, fifty at first,' said Mr. Nixon,
‘Follow me, and take a column,
’Even if you have to work free.
 
‘Butter reviewers. From fifty to three hundred
’I rose in eighteen months;
‘The hardest nut I had to crack
’Was Dr. Dundas.
 
‘I never mentioned a man but with the view
’Of selling my own works.
‘The tip’s a good one, as for literature
‘It gives no man a sinecure.
 
’And no one knows, at sight, a masterpiece.
‘And give up verse, my boy,
’There’s nothing in it.’
 
Likewise a friend of Bloughram’s once advised me:
Don’t kick against the pricks,
Accept opinion. The 'Nineties’ tried your game
And died, there’s nothing in it.
 
X
Beneath the sagging roof
The stylist has taken shelter,
Unpaid, uncelebrated,
At last from the world’s welter
 
Nature receives him;
With a placid and uneducated mistress
He exercises his talents
And the soil meets his distress.
 
The haven from sophistications and contentions
Leaks through its thatch;
He offers succulent cooking;
The door has a creaking latch.
 
XI
Conservatrix of Milésien’
Habits of mind and feeling,
Possibly. But in Ealing
With the most bank-clerkly of Englishmen?
 
No, 'Milésian’ is an exaggeration.
No instinct has survived in her
Older than those her grandmother
Told her would fit her station.
 
XII
‘Daphne with her thighs in bark
Stretches toward me her leafy hands,’
Subjectively. In the stuffed-satin drawing-room
I await The Lady Valentine’s commands,
 
Knowing my coat has never been
Of precisely the fashion
To stimulate, in her,
A durable passion;
 
Doubtful, somewhat, of the value
Of well-gowned approbation
Of literary effort,
But never of The Lady Valentine’s vocation:
 
Poetry, her border of ideas,
The edge, uncertain, but a means of blending
With other strata
Where the lower and higher have ending;
 
A hook to catch the Lady Jane’s attention,
A modulation toward the theatre,
Also, in the case of revolution,
A possible friend and comforter.
 
Conduct, on the other hand, the soul
‘Which the highest cultures have nourished’
To Fleet St. where
Dr. Johnson flourished;
 
Beside this thoroughfare
The sale of half-hose has
Long since superseded the cultivation
Of Pierian roses.

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