To Richard Watson Gilder

(With a Volume of Verses)

    OLD friends are best! And so to you
       Again I send, in closer throng,
       No unfamliar shapes of song,
    But those that once you liked and knew.
    You surely will not do them wrong;
       For are you not an old friend, too? --
          Old friends are best.
    Old books, old wine, old Nankin blue; --
       All things, in short, to which belong
       The charm, the grace that Time makes strong, --
    All these I prize, but (entre nous)
          

    Austin Dobson (1840-1921)


A light and sincere poem from a 1918 anthology called The Stag's Hornbook, Dobson uses an old French form called a rondeau. He was an English poet and essayist. From 1856 to 1901 he was employed in the Board of Trade. Aside from several popular works, he owes his literary reputation to his charming, vivacious, and often brilliant letters, which number about 2700. Richard Watson Gilder (1844-1909) was a poet too. He was also an editor of the Century Monthly Magazine. One of the foremost figures in New York literary society, he and his wife, artist Helena de Kay, also exerted considerable influence and were known for their Friday evening gatherings for artists, writers, and musicians at their Manhattan residence. His published writings include Complete Poems, Household Edition, Cleveland, A Record of Friendship, and Lincoln, the Leader.

Sources:

Blair, Bob:
http://www.geocities.com/bblair.geo/000626.htm

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/2001/dobson0101.html

CST Approved.

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