gilbert memorial embankment

The Lost Laureate

(After Tennysonís death in 1892 there was a four year
 break before Alfred Austin became the next Poet Laureate.)

If they were tired of shaggy bards, Olympian and vatic,
Did they consider Gilbert and the comic operatic?
He was the very pattern of a clever versifier
He could butter up like billy-o, but also flare up in his ire.
He knew a lot of people, and most of them spoke well of him;
He was scandal-free and solvent, no torrid tales to tell of him.
His lines were sharp and singable, sweet too, but seldom sickly,
Though patriotic sentiment was a thing he laid on thickly.
His verses brought a premium, each bedizened with a drawing,
Which helped elicit readersí grins, if not outbreaks of guffawing.
He might be no A. Tennyson, yet his works were bright and merry,
And he would have done real justice to that splendid perk, the sherry.
How odd to not pick William to make their prospects aureate
And gild Saxe-Coburg-Gotha with a Schwenck as Poet Laureate!

Jerome Betts

If you have any comments on this poem, Jerome Betts  would be pleased to hear from you.