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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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Poems                       391


And not in tb|>se of him who cannot call me to account.

Therefore yield me up thy pretty wings, O humming-bird 1

Sing for me in a prison, 0 lark!

Pay me thy rent, 0 widow !  for it is mine.

Where there is reckoning there is sin,

And where there is no reckoning sin is not.

To Critics and Others

O Critics, cultured Critics I

Who will praise me after I am dead,

Who will see in me both more and less than I intended,

But who will swear that whatever it was it was all per-
fectly right:

You will think you are better than the people who, when
I was alive, swore that whatever I did was wrong

And damned my books for me as fast as I could write them;

But you will not be better, you will be just the same,
neither better nor worse,

And you will go for some future Butler as your fathers
have gone for me.

Oh !   How I should have hated you !

But you, Nice People !

Who will be sick of me because the critics thrust me down
your throats,

But who would take me willingly enough if you were not
bored about me,

Or if you could have the cream of me—and surely this
should suffice :

Please remember that, if I were living, I should be upon
your side

And should hate those who imposed me either on myself
or others;

Therefore, I pray you, neglect me, burlesque me, boil me
down, do whatever you like with me,

But do not think that, if I were living, I should not aid
and abet you.

There is nothing that even Shakespeare would enjoy more
than a good burlesque of Hamlet.