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The Rubaiyat of Omar Cayenne

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OMAR CAYENNE I Wake! For the Hack can scatter into flight Shakespere and Dante in a single Night! The Penny-a-liner is Abroad, and strikes Our Modern Literature with blithering Blight. II Before Historical Romances died, Methought a Voice from Art's Olympus cried, "When all Dumas and Scott is still for Sale, Why nod o'er drowsy Tales, by Tyros tried?"

III A cock-sure Crew with Names ne'er heard before Greedily shouted—"Open then the Door! You know how little Stuff is going to live, But where it came from there is plenty More." IV Now the New Year reviving old Desires, The Artist poor to Calendars aspires, But of the Stuff the Publisher puts out Most in the Paper Basket soon suspires. V Harum indeed is gone, and Lady Rose, And Janice Meredith, where no one knows; But still the Author gushes overtime, And many a Poet babbles on in Prose. VI Aldrich's lips are lock'd; but people buy High-piping Authoresses, boomed sky-high. "How Fine!"—the Publisher cries to the Mob, That monumental Cheek to justify.

VII Come, fill the Purse, to Publishers, this Spring, Your Manuscripts of paltry Passion bring: The New York Times has oft a little Way Of praising—let The Times your praises sing. VIII Whether by Century or Doubleday, Whether Macmillan or the Harpers pay, The Publisher prints new books every Year; The Critics will keep Busy, anyway! IX Each Morn a thousand Volumes brings, you say; Yes, but who reads the Books of Yesterday? And this first Autumn List that brings the New Shall take The Pit and Mrs. Wiggs away. X Well, let it take them! What, are we not through With Richard Calmady and Emmy Lou? Let Ade and Dooley guy us as they will, Or Ella Wheeler Wilcox—heed not you.

XI With me despise this kind of Fiction rude That just divides the Rotten from the Good, Where names of Poe and Dickens are forgot— And Peace to Thackeray with his giant Brood! XII A Book of Limericks—Nonsense, anyhow— Alice in Wonderland, the Purple Cow Beside me singing on Fifth Avenue— Ah, this were Modern Literature enow! XIII Some for the stories of The World; and some Sigh for the Boston Transcript till it come; Ah, take The Sun, and let The Herald go, Nor heed the Yellow Journalistic scum! XIV Look to the blowing Advertiser—"Lo, Booming's the way," he says, "to make Books go! I advertise until I've drained my Purse, And huge Editions on the Market throw."

XV And those who made a Mint off Miss MacLane, And those who shuddered at her Jests profane, Alike consigned her to Oblivion, And buried once, would not dig up again. XVI Anthony Hope men set their hearts upon— Like Conan Doyle he prospered; and anon, Remained unopened on the dusty Shelf, Delighting us an Hour—and then was gone. XVII Think, in this gaudy monthly Magazine Whose Covers are Soapette and Breakfastine, How Author after Author with his Tale Fills his fool Pages, and no more is seen. XVIII They say that now Miss Myra Kelly reaps Rewards that Howells used to have for Keeps: And Seton, that great Hunter of Wild Beasts Has Coin ahead; Cash comes to him in Heaps...!