Fame’s Penny-Trumpet Poem by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)
Poetry from Phantasmagoria and Other Poems.
Fame’s Penny-Trumpet Poem
[Affectionately dedicated to all “original researchers” who pant for “endowment.”]
Blow, blow your trumpets till they crack,
Ye little men of little souls!
And bid them huddle at your back—
Gold-sucking leeches, shoals on shoals!
Fill all the air with hungry wails—
“Reward us, ere we think or write!
Without your Gold mere Knowledge fails
To sate the swinish appetite!”
And, where great Plato paced serene,
Or Newton paused with wistful eye,
Rush to the chace with hoofs unclean
And Babel-clamour of the sty
Be yours the pay: be theirs the praise:
We will not rob them of their due,
Nor vex the ghosts of other days
By naming them along with you.
They sought and found undying fame:
They toiled not for reward nor thanks:
Their cheeks are hot with honest shame
For you, the modern mountebanks!
Who preach of Justice—plead with tears
That Love and Mercy should abound—
While marking with complacent ears
The moaning of some tortured hound:
Who prate of Wisdom—nay, forbear,
Lest Wisdom turn on you in wrath,
Trampling, with heel that will not spare,
The vermin that beset her path!
Go, throng each other’s drawing-rooms,
Ye idols of a petty clique:
Strut your brief hour in borrowed plumes,
And make your penny-trumpets squeak.
Deck your dull talk with pilfered shreds
Of learning from a nobler time,
And oil each other’s little heads
With mutual Flattery’s golden slime:
And when the topmost height ye gain,
And stand in Glory’s ether clear,
And grasp the prize of all your pain—
So many hundred pounds a year—
Then let Fame’s banner be unfurled!
Sing Pæans for a victory won!
Ye tapers, that would light the world,
And cast a shadow on the Sun—
Who still shall pour His rays sublime,
One crystal flood, from East to West,
When ye have burned your little time
And feebly flickered into rest!
Fame’s Penny-Trumpet Poem End
Lewis Carroll – Phantasmagoria Poem, in Seven Cantos
Lewis Carroll – Echoes Poem
Lewis Carroll – A Sea Dirge Poem
Lewis Carroll – Ye Carpette Knyghte Poem
Lewis Carroll – Hiawatha’s Photographing Poem
Lewis Carroll – Melancholetta Poem
Lewis Carroll – A Valentine Poem
Lewis Carroll – The Three Voices Poem
Lewis Carroll – Tèma Con Variaziòni Poem
Lewis Carroll – A Game of Fives Poem
Lewis Carroll – Poeta fit, non nascitur Poem
Lewis Carroll – Size and Tears Poem
Lewis Carroll – Atalanta in Camden-Town Poem
Lewis Carroll – The Lang Coortin’ Poem
Lewis Carroll – Four Riddles Poem
Lewis Carroll – Fame’s Penny-Trumpet Poem