This is one of the epigrams and epigrammatical scraps that DGR was writing between 1871 and approximately 1875, all ruminating in a troubled way on Buchanan's critique of his 1870 Poems . DGR's notebooks are littered with brief textual fragments of this kind (see the commentary for “[Ant, Gnat and Wasp]”). His sustained public reply to Buchanan came as his essay “The Stealthy School of Criticism”, and it is clear that the poem “Soothsay” was itself written as a kind of philosophical response to the situation.
The text of this epigram appears in the Ashley Library's so-called Small Notebook II.
The text of the epigram has not previously been published.