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?