To Catullus

By Robert Bridges 1844–1930 Robert Bridges
Would that you were alive today, Catullus!
Truth ’tis, there is a filthy skunk amongst us,
A rank musk-idiot, the filthiest skunk,
Of no least sorry use on earth, but only
Fit in fancy to justify the outlay
Of your most horrible vocabulary.

My Muse, all innocent as Eve in Eden,
Would yet wear any skins of old pollution
Rather than celebrate the name detested.
Ev’n now might he rejoice at our attention,
Guess'd he this little ode were aiming at him.

O! were you but alive again, Catullus!

For see, not one among the bards of our time
With their flimsy tackle was out to strike him;
Not those two pretty Laureates of England,
Not Alfred Tennyson nor Alfred Austin.

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Poet Robert Bridges 1844–1930

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Ode, Allusion

 Robert  Bridges

Biography

A Victorian who by choice remained apart from the aesthetic movements of his day, Robert Bridges was a classicist. His experimentation with eighteenth-century classical forms culminated in The Testament of Beauty, generally acknowledged as his masterpiece. He succeeded Alfred Austin as Poet Laureate in 1913 and was active in the Society for Pure English, which was founded largely through his efforts. He had an important . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Ode, Allusion

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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