|The Rhyme Maker
is Latin for “my sister's son”, the root word for
“nepotism”. I believe this poem is addressed to
American writer Lloyd Osbourne, Stevenson's stepson with whom he
co-wrote the novels The
(1889) and The
stanza: Flora is the Roman goddess of flowers.
stanza: Falernian refers to an area of Italy, home of wines
celebrated by Horace, famed poet of ancient Rome.
S. H. Bass
Poet Of The Moment
more Robert Louis Stevenson at
Daniel, bird alone, in that far land
the wine is bottled poetry
Robert Louis Stevenson
Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist/poet
by S.H. Bass (b. 1956), American writer/poet
Nepos, twice my neighbor (here at home,
we share Flora's temple dome;
in the country, still conjoined by fate,
our villas standing gate by gate!):
hast a daughter, dearer far than life –
in thy image and that of thy wife.
why for her, neglect the flowing bin
lose the prime of thy Falernian?
casks of money, if to hoard be thine,
let thy daughter drink a younger wine!
her grow rich and wise, in silk and fur;
down a vintage to grow old with her.
thou, meantime, while this batch remains sound,
pleased companions, pass the bowl around.
not the childless only taste delights,
fathers also may enjoy their nights.
from New Poems