In A Lady's Album
WHAT can I write in thee, O dainty book,
About whose daintiness faint perfume lingers—
Into whose pages dainty ladies look,
And turn thy dainty leaves with daintier fingers?
Fitter my ruder muse for ruder song,
My scrawling quill to coarser paper matches;
My voice, in laughter raised too loud and long,
Is hoarse and cracked with singing tavern catches.
No melodies have I for ladies’ ear,
No roundelays for jocund lads and lasses—
But only brawlings born of bitter beer,
And chorussed with the clink and clash ...