Poem for John Shade

Note on the submission: The following poem (some trivial corrections excepted) was given to me by the proprietor of an Appalachian motel, in the hope that I could publish it, both for its own value and ‘the clever ser’; a “distinguished” patron who orphaned the verse behind a nightstand some years ago along with a ping pong paddle and a few blank index cards.

Oh to the shadow of that dear slain Shade
Laid out by the mind’s drear poet, arrayed
Eternal between sweet incense of Popes
And pale fires; dim pyres that frayed waxing hopes;
Wilting boyish columns that our emblems held
Erect, sublime. Fair crime penned worlds, dispelled
Sovereign charms. Alas your harpy-muse sings
Triumphant, mantled in the cloaks of kings.
Until lyre’s tongue, in rerum of baser sort,
Discharged, premature, the magic we sought
In tallow lanterns for a royal parade




James Lythgoe is an aspiring dilettante and strong evidence for the Victorian belief that too many novels rot the brain. He makes, steals or borrows words for the Undead Poets’ Society, so they can be subjected to inhumane violins:

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