(after Horace Ode 1:25 Parcius iunctas)
The rampant literati seem less keen
to finger scripts or rouse you with their praise.
You used to spread your lines across the page:
now they’re locked and frigid.
Young scribes were once among your greatest fans:
these days they never email for your verse
and while you romp round daily with your muse
they write you off.
Soon your skin will wither, and your words
will wrinkle on some Oxfam bargain rack
remaindered by indifference. Mates step back:
your groupies leave you cold.
By looking for acclaim your hopes and dreams
will drive you like the rest of us insane.
Frustration bouncing round inside your brain,
you’ll feel neglected: you’ll moan
about the happy wannabees who follow
new hot shoots of fame, but what’s your quarrel?
You’ll have had your time, and so your laurels
grow brittle in tomorrow’s frost.