Poetry and Verse

“Prologue” from Proverbs in Porcelain

Assume that we are friends. Assume
A common taste for old costume, —
    Old pictures, — books. Then dream us sitting —
Us two — in some soft-lighted room.

Outside, the wind; — the “ways are mire.”
We, with our faces toward the fire,
    Finished the feast not full but fitting,
Watch the light-leaping flames aspire.

Silent at first, in time we glow;
Discuss “eclectics,” high and low;
    Inspect engravings, ‘twixt us passing
The fancies of Detroy, Moreau;

“Reveils” and “Couchers,” “Balls” and “Fêtes;”
Anon we glide to “crocks” and plates,
    Grow eloquent on glaze and classing,
And half-pathetic over “states.”

Then I produce my Prize, in truth; —
Six groups in Sèvres, fresh as Youth,
    And rare as Love. You pause, you wonder,
(Pretend to doubt the marks, forsooth!)

And so we fall to why and how
The fragile figures smile and bow;
    Divine, at length, the fable under…
Thus grew the “Scenes” that follow now.

Dobson, Austin. “Prologue.” Proverbs in Porcelain and Other Poems. Portland, Maine: Thomas B. Mosher, 1909.

Vain were my hopes: few ſcreens attain the praiſe
Of their great colors, and moſt their colors diſgrace.
But within its ſcreen eternal fire burns,
And all deſigners its poſseſsion so yearn:
And lo, with ſpeed we plough the uncertain way,
To wait once more at the helm of Apple’s bay.
On the Apple Monitor, Self-written.