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- Tobogganing On Parnassus - 10/17 -


But if you're wise you'll discard en- Cumbrances such as we thwack-- Especially "sinister garden" And the "initial sack."

Footlight Motifs

I

MRS. FISKE

Staccato, hurried, nervous, brisk, Cascading, intermittent, choppy, The brittle voice of Mrs. Fiske Shall serve me now as copy. Assist me, O my Muse, what time I pen a bit of Deathless Rhyme!

Time was, when first that voice I heard, Despite my close and tense endeavour, When many an important word Was lost and gone forever; Though, unlike others at the play, I never whispered: "wha'd'd she say?"

Some words she runstogetherso; Some others are distinctly stated; Some cometoofast and s o m e t o o s l o w And some are syncopated. And yet no voice--I am sincere-- Exists that I prefer to hear.

For what is called "intelligence" By every Mrs. Fiskeian critic As usual is just a sense Of humour, analytic. So any time I'm glad to frisk Two bones to witness Mrs. Fiske.

II

Olga Nethersole

I like little Olga, Her plays are so warm; And if I don't see 'em, They'll do me no harm.

My Puritan training Has kept me from going To dramas in which Little Olga was showing.

But I like little Olga, Her art is so warm; And if I don't see her She'll do me no harm.

Ballade of the Average Reader

I try to touch the public taste, For thus I earn my daily bread. I try to write what folks will paste In scrap books after I am dead. By Public Craving I am led. (I' sooth, a most despotic leader) Yet, though I write for Tom and Ned, I've never seen an average reader.

The Editor is good and chaste, But says: (Above the public's head; This is _too_ good; 'twill go to waste. Write something commonplacer-- Ed.) Write for the average reader, fed By pre-digested near-food's feeder, But though my high ideals have fled, I've never _seen_ an average reader.

How many lines have been erased! How many fancies have been shed! How many failures might be traced To this--this average-reader dread! I've seen an average single bed; I've seen an average garden-weeder; I've seen an average cotton thread-- I've _never_ seen an average _reader_.

L'ENVOI

Most read of readers, if you've read The works of any old succeeder, You know that he, too, must have said: "I've never seen an Average Reader."

Poesy's Guerdon

( * * * I do not believe a single modern English poet is living to-day on the current proceeds of his verse.--From "Literary Taste and How to Form it," by Arnold Bennett.)

What time I pen the Mighty Line Suffused with the spark divine As who should say: "By George! That's fine!"

Indignantly do I deny The words of Arnold Bennett. Why, Is this not English verse? say I.

And by the proceeds of that verse-- Such as, _e. g._, these little terc- Ets--is not filled the family purse?

Do we not live on what I sell, Sonnet, ballade, and villanelle?

* * *

"We do," She says, "and none too well."

Signal Service

Time-table! Terrible and hard To figure! At some station lonely We see this sign upon the card: [Footnote Asterisk: Train 20: Stops on signal only.]

We read thee wrong; the untrained eye Does not see always with precision. The train we thought to travel by [Footnote Dagger: Runs only on North-west division.]

Again, undaunted, we look at The hieroglyphs, and as a rule a Small double dagger shows us that [Footnote SmallDoubleDagger: Train does not stop at Ashtabula.]

And when we take a certain line On Tues., Wednes., Thurs., Fri., Sat., or Monday, We're certain to detect the sign: [Footnote SectionMark: $10 extra fare ex. Sunday. ]

Heck Junction--Here she comes! Fft! Whiz! A scurry--and the train has flitted! Again we look. We find it--viz., [Footnote DoubleBar: Train does not stop where time omitted.]

Through hieroglyphic seas we wade-- Print is so cold and so unfeeling. The train we wait at Neverglade [Footnote Paragraph: Connects with C. & A. at Wheeling.]

Now hungrily the sheet we scan, Grimy with travel, thirsty, weary, And then--nothing is sadder than [Footnote PointingHand: No diner on till after Erie.]

Yet, cursed as is every sign, The cussedest that we can quote is This treacherous and deadly line: [Footnote TripleAsterisk: Subject to change without our notice.]

Sporadic Fiction

Why not a poem as they treat The stories in the magazines? "Eustacia's lips were very sweet. He stooped to"-and here intervenes A line--italics--telling one Where one may learn the things that he, The noble hero, had begun. (_Continuation on page 3_.)

Page 3--oh, here it is--no, here-- "Kiss them. Eustacia hung her head; Whereat he said, 'Eustacia dear'-- And sweetly low Eustacia said:" (_Continued on page 17_.) Here, just between the corset ad.


Tobogganing On Parnassus - 10/17

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