MR. ELIOT’S DAY
~ by Robert Francis
At 8:00 he rises, bathes, and dresses,
And very privately confesses.
At 9:00 he breaks fast with his host
On cafe noir and thin dry toast.
At 10:00, as one who bears the Grail,
A maid brings him the morning mail.
At 11:00, town. He offers thanks
At one old church and two old banks.
At 12:00, still in the mood for prayer,
He drops into a deep club chair.
At 1:00 he’s lunching with a bishop
On spring lamb garnished with true hyssop.
At 2:00 the poet starts to nod,
Now toward, and now away from, God.
At 3:00 he wakes and makes repair
Of the strict parting of his hair.
At 4:00, back at his host’s estate,
He picks a rose and ponders fate.
At 5:00, over a cocktail glass,
He is reminded of the Mass.
At 6:00 he and his favorite cat
Hold a brief, metaphysical chat.
At 7:00, with a distinguished sinner
And well-known saint, he faces dinner.
At 8:00 the three men still converse
On why the world is so much worse.
At 9:00, for lighter recreation,
They play charades on In-car-na-tion.
At 10:00, alone, robed in a jaunty
Dressing gown, he’s deep in Dante.
11:00 strikes. Now hoots the owl.
He leaves the house for a deep, dark prowl.
At 12:00 he mounts, with measured tread,
The penitential stairs to bed.
Robert Francis said he formed these impressions “upon perusing The Complete Poems And Plays Of T. S. Eliot.”