ONCE I wrote a little poem which I thought was very fine,
And I showed the printer’s copy to a critic friend of mine,
First he praised the thing a little, then he found a little fault;
‘The ideas are good,’ he muttered, ‘but the rhythm seems to halt.’
So I straighten’d up the rhythm where he marked it with his pen,
So I worked as he suggested (I believe in taking time),
So I worked for hours upon it (I go on when I commence),
. . . . .
If I wasn’t too conceited to accept a friendly hint,
And my dearest friends are certain that I’d profit in the end
If I’d always show my copy to a literary friend.