This is a short video I once made of my transcribing an obscure but beautiful passage written by an almost forgotten poet named Arthur Symons (1865–1945), in his poem “Rain On The Down.”
Rain On The Down
Night, and the down by the sea,
And the veil of rain on the down.
And she came through the mist and the rain to me
From the safe warm lights of the town.
The rain shone in her hair
And her face gleamed in the rain.
And only the night and the rain were there
As she came to me out of the rain.
— Arthur Symons
The following is a poem written by the poet John Betjeman (1906–1984), after seeing Arthur Symons, a heavy smoker, at the Café Royal. Betjeman’s poem is perhaps no masterpiece, but it is, in my opinion, historically interesting, and also indicative of the relative fame Arthur Symons once enjoyed:
On Seeing an Old Poet in the Café Royal
I saw him in the Café Royal,
Very venerable and very grand.
Modernistic shone the lamplight
There in London’s fairyland
“Devilled chicken. Devilled whitebait,
Devil if I understand.
Where is Oscar? Where is Bosie?
Have I seen that man before?
And the odd one in the corner,
Is that really Wratislaw?”
Scent of Tutti-Frutti-Sen-Sen
And cheroots upon the floor.
— John Betjeman