Lucifer

Think not, O thou from College late deported, 
          Pride goeth down
Among thy seniors—yea, though thou hast sported 
          The B.A.'s gown,
And on thy Card the magic letters stand 
Which stamp thee of the Rulers of the Land.

St. Vincent Clare's Papa had lived before him,—
          Which always helps,-
So early in official life They bore him 
          From fellow-whelps, 
Destined to die or sicken in the slough 
Of Lower India, to the Mountain's brow.

No fairyland is Capua—still,'tis better 
          Than other lands.
St. Vincent licked the stamp and signed the letter, 
          And bound the bands
Of that foul, frail red tape which strangles ever 
The honest energetic fool's endeavour.

So prospered greatly and forgat his father-
          Thereafter, big
With his own merits, grew to be a rather 
          Conceited prig.
Facile the downward path,  O Clare! The Gods 
Saw and prepared for him their briniest rods.

'He is a c-d', They murmured vexed and low; 
          Yet said in love:
`No matter; give the boy another show; 
          He may improve' ... 
`He is impossible.' The fiat went
Forth not so quickly as St. Clare's descent.

Cast out and doubly damned by that black epithet, 
          He sought the Plains;
And now behind his door whoe'er so tappeth it, 
          Another reigns:
While Vincent, as the punkah flickers o'er him, 
Remembers—that his father lived before him.