Tim Love: The Neighbourhood Soiree, 1872

We guessed that he was famous in the arts -
we don't get many Dantes round these parts -

but all the same his llama gave us quite
a shock, its mournful bleating through the night.

His painting ceased. No moans from us, although
his models keep on traipsing to and fro.

Of course, we made allowances, but then
raccoons appeared. It's strange how grief strikes men

in different ways - he often talks about
Elizabeth and her dark eyes. No doubt

he needs his pets. He bought the wallaby,
he claimed, to help him with his poetry -

he said its loping rhythm helped him write.
He bribed complainers who aren't here tonight

with bags of dung. Their rhubarb's never won
so many prizes. Wombats were more fun

for him than us - he praised their cubic turds;
we mended fences. Then he purchased birds -

a step too far. There's not a philistine
amongst us, but it's time we drew the line.

Each dawn we hear those wretched peacocks squawk.
We've put up with too much along Cheyne Walk.

Rossetti mustn't spoil our morning habits.
He goes, or swaps his zoo for fluffy rabbits.