He thought himself blessed with the poet’s knack,
Though others knew him rightly for a hack
Who knocked off flimsy sonnets by the hour
Devoid of cunning, insight, grace or power.
The best that critics said, if they gave heed,
Was that, if nothing else, the man had speed
And was inordinately apt at rhyme
Though less than deft at metrics sometime.
And he was out of time another way
Straddling two modes of old poetic play,
The Elizabethan and Augustan styles,
His rhymes not interlinked but stacked in piles.
The couplet sonnet marked this poetaster
As one born not for fame but for disaster.