Apologies for any formatting issues; the long lines, many broken over several rows, cause certain problems. I have added line numbers in an attempt to make it easier to follow. The poem rhymes in couplets.
from The Blues: A Literary Eclogue
London – Before the Door of a Lecture Room
[Enter Tracy, meeting Inkel.]
Tra: What, won’t you return to the lecture? (40)
Ink: Why, the place is so cramm’d, there’s not room for a spectre.
Besides, our friend Scamp is to-day so absurd—
Tra: How can you know that till you hear him?
Ink: I heard
Quite enough; and, to tell you the truth, my retreat
Was from his vile nonsense, no less than the heat. (45)
Tra: I have had no great loss then?
Ink: Loss! – such a palaver!
I’d inoculate sooner my wife with the slaver
Of a dog when gone rabid, than listen two hours
To the torrent of trash which around him he pours,
Pump’d up with such effort, disgorged with such labour, (50)
That— come – do not make me speak ill of one’s neighbour.
Tra: I make you!
Ink: Yes, you! I said nothing until
You compell’d me, by speaking the truth—
Tra: To speak ill?
Is that your deduction?
Ink: When speaking of Scamp ill,
I certainly follow, not set an example. (55)
The fellow’s a fool, an impostor, a zany.
Tra: And the crowd of to-day shows that one fool makes many.
But we two will be wise.
Ink: Pray, then, let us retire.
Tra: I would, but—
Ink: There must be attraction much higher
Than Scamp, or the Jews’ harp he nicknames his lyre, (60)
To call you to this hotbed.
Tra: I own it – ’tis true –
A fair lady—
Ink: A spinster?
Tra: Miss Lilac!
Ink: The Blue!
Tra: The angel!
Ink: The devil! why, man,
Pray get out of this hobble as fast as you can.
You wed with Miss Lilac! ‘twould be your perdition: (65)
She’s a poet, a chymist, a mathematician.
Tra: I say she’s an angel!
Ink: Say rather an angle.
If you and she marry, you’ll certainly wrangle.
I say she’s a Blue, man, as blue as the ether.
Tra: And is that any cause for not coming together? (70)
Ink: Humph! I can’t say I know any happy alliance
Which has lately sprung up from a wedlock with science.
She’s so learned in all things, and fond of concerning
Herself in all matters connected with learning,
Ink: I perhaps may as well hold my tongue; (75)
But there’s five hundred people can tell you you’re wrong.
– Lord Byron