Max Beerbohm's Essays

AND even now, years later, when my mood
Calls for a friend, lighthearted, wise, urbane,
Regretting yet delighting to intrude
I ring his bell. Who would see Swinburne plain
Should ring it, too. And Moore and Byron come,
Their anguished laughter ringing down the years.
And then — behold! “Up from Rapallo, home”
The Golden Drugget! Strange, how well it wears.
And yet, not strange; nor that he, too, should wear
So well, my host. . . . But no, he stands confessed
No host, and in that quality we share;
For I, like him, was born to be a guest:
To sit contented, in observant mood,
Savoring the wit provided with the food.