Proem to ”The Wonderful
Mission of Earl Lavender”
Though our eyes turn ever waveward
Where our sun is well-nigh set;
Though our Century totters graveward
We may laugh a little yet.
Oh! our age-end style perplexes
All our elders time has tamed;
On our sleeves we wear our sexes,
Our diseases, unashamed.
Have we lost the mood romantic
That was once our right by birth?
Lo! the greenest girl is frantic
With the woe of all the earth.
But we know a British rumour,
And we think it whispers well:
"We would ventilate our humour
In the very jaws of Hell."