Many Gentlemen

by Laura Riding (1926)

Many gentlemen there are born not babes.
They will be babes, they will be babes
In the shades.
They will dribble, they will babble,
They will pule in pantomime
Who were not babes in baby time.

Of such infant sorrow
Will they whimper
On Aspasia's bosom
In the shades to-morrow:
Many gentlemen, many gentlemen frowning,
But not Socrates simpering among these,
Who was well weaned of her honey
In his prime and needs no pap now,
Having then long with baby eyes
Smiled upward to her learned brow.

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