Borrowed Robes

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Borrowed Robes

BY JOHN KENDRICK BANGS


THERE'S Binks, he is wearing the "mantle of Scott,"—
 His publishers so advertise.
I really can't say if it's truthful or not,
 I haven't had time to get wise.
I fancy, however, it isn't quite so,
 Tho' Binksy is walking on stilts.
For Scott never sported a mantle, altho'
 He frequently went out in kilts.

And Tompkins—a poet of passion—they say
 Is wearing the "shoes of John Keats."
I rather believe it is true from the play
 Of Tompkins's rhythmical feats.
I've noticed they move with a horrible limp
 As though he'd a cork-legged muse.
His gait has a very unmetrical crimp
 From wearing another man's shoes.

There's others who're wearing the left-over duds
 Of Byron and Shelley and Lamb.
I dare say there's some one who's wearing the studs
 Of old Mr. Omar Khayyam.
The collar of Dickens is one fellow's lot;
 Another's the rubbers of Poe:
And G. Harding Wiggles is said to have got
 The pot-hat of Daniel Defoe.

For me I care not for illustrious gowns.
 I want no one's mantle in mine.
A second-hand garment will fill me with frowns—
 Such offers I'll ever decline;
And if it so happens I take to the pen,
 Like certain mechanics I've known,
I hope at the last, when I come to "say when,"
They'll find that my clothes were my own.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1922, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.