To the Common Room

( From the USC Chronicle
March 27th 1889
inscribed in a presentation
copy of "Echoes")

'My very noble and approved good masters.'

Placetne, Domini? — in far Lahore
I wait your verdict, 'mid the palms and roses,
Much as I did those judgments writ of yore
Upon my 'proses'.

Blue-pencil X's when constructions queer
Ran riot down the inky, thumb-marked page;
And wondrous words that moved too oft, I fear,
Your righteous rage.

Red-pencil marks when half a dozen rules,
Smashed at one stroke, broke down your patience, too,
And left me, in the silence of the Schools,
With 'lines to do'.

These were your judgments—well deserved enough
By one who daily scorned his Latin Primer.
What is your verdict on the latest stuff
Sent by this rhymer?

Placetne, Domini?—'neath India's sky
I wait your answer, laymen and divines;
And, as of old, upon your table I
'Show up my lines'.