The Shakespeare Memorial
G. K. Chesterton
Lord Lilac thought it rather rotten
That Shakespeare should be quite forgotten,
And therefore got on a Committee
With several chaps out of the City,
And Shorter and Sir Herbert Tree,
Lord Rothschild and Lord Rosebery,
And F.C.G. and Comyn Carr
Two dukes and a dramatic star,
Also a clergy man now dead;
And while the vain world careless sped
Unheeding the heroic name —
The souls most fed with Shakespeare’s flame
Still sat unconquered in a ring,
Remembering him like anything.
Lord Lilac did not long remain,
Lord Lilac did not some again.
He softly lit a cigarette
And sought some other social set
Where, in some other knots or rings,
People were doing cultured things.
— Miss Zwilt’s Humane Vivarium
— The little men that paint on gum
— The exquisite Gorilla Girl . . .
He sometimes, in this giddy whirl
(Not being really bad at heart),
Remembered Shakespeare with a start —
But not with that grand constancy
Of Clement Shorter, Herbert Tree,
Lord Rosebery and Comyn Carr
And all the other names there are;
Who stuck like limpets to the spot,
Lest they forgot, lest they forgot.
Lord Lilac was of slighter stuff;
Lord Lilac had had quite enough.