Ode on D.R. Carlaw. by editors

I. Were I to write a book review,
I know just what I'd do.
I'd cite the names of other men,
who'd written novels too;

Perhaps some women,
token few:
a Brontë,
Wo(o)lf;
a George or two
...and even if it weren't true.
(...Though plain to see,
the lie would be,
their merits—
just as few as thee—
denied they be,
few read,
by me.
And sure I've read

a few.)


II. The book you wrote came with a tote;
beyond that,
nothing seems of note;
a thumbing-through had shown as true,
the tropes as hoped for,
nothing new...

that was,
to say,
for all I knew.


III. If not a slim book,
overlong;
if average lengthed,
an average qualm;
pertaining, mainly,—
may my aim be true,
to justice do:
it;
you—
where similes,
I might have placed a metaphor,—
like just before...

(...The question still,
not how but where;
but had I,
neither here nor there,

nor,
frankly,
anywhere.)


IV. To hackneyed hacks,
of knock-kneed tack, 
impute shall I,—
deputed, I,—
contrived,
revived,
and weakest rhymes—
an art self-conscious,

as it is
at times...