To A.M.

(Inscribed in a presentation
copy of "Echoes")

Between the gum-pot and the shears,
The awful emblems of my trade—
First-fruits of two hot Indian years—
These rhymes were made.

Will he who left with passing years
The weapons of his accolade,
The gum-pot and the office shears
For labour staid

At leaders on the inner leaf
Finance, War, Famine, Trade or Crimes,
Past Master of my Craft in brief
Accept those rhymes?