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THE BOOK OF HUMOROUS VERSE
Author of " Such Nonsense ," " The Whimsey Anthology ," etc. , etc.
New York George H. Doran Company
Printed in the United States of America
TO ROBERT CHAPMAN SPRAGUE
A hope of immortality and a sense of humor distinguish man from the beasts of the field.
A single exception may be made, perhaps, of the Laughing Hyena, and, on the other hand, not every one of the human race possesses the power of laughter. For those who do, this volume is intended.
And since there can be nothing humorous about an introduction, there can be small need of a lengthy one.
Merely a few explanations of conditions which may be censured by captious critics.
First, the limitations of space had to be recognized. Hence, the book is a compilation, not a collection. It is representative, but not exhaustive. My ambition was toward a volume to which everyone could go, with a surety of finding any one of his favorite humorous poems between these covers. But no covers of one book could insure that, so I reluctantly gave up the dream for a reality which I trust will make it possible for a majority of seekers to find their favorites here.
The compiler's course is a difficult one. The Scylla of Popularity lures him on the one hand, while the Charybdis of the Classical charms him on the other. He has nothing to steer by but his own good taste, and good taste, alack, is greatly a matter of opinion.
And no opinion seemeth good unto an honest compiler, save his own. Wherefore, the choice of these selections, like kissing, went by favor. As to the arrangement of them, every compiler will tell you that Classification is Vexation. And why not? When many a poem may be both Parody and Satire,—both Romance and Cynicism. Wherefore, the compiler sorted with loving care the selections here presented striving to do justice to the verses themselves, and taking a chance on the tolerant good nature of the reader.
"A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it. Never in the tongue Of him that makes it."
Which made me all the more careful to do my authors justice, leaving the prosperity of the jests to the hearers.
The compiler is indebted to the publisher or author, as noted below, for the use of copyright material included in this volume. Special arrangements have been made with the authorized publishers of those American poets, whose works in whole or in part have lapsed copyright. All rights of these poems have been reserved by the authorized publisher, author or holder of the copyright as indicated in the following:
Little, Brown & Company: For selections from the Poems and Limericks of Edward Lear.
The Macmillan Company: For selections from the Poems of Lewis Carroll and Verses from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass."
Harr Wagner Publishing Company: For permission to reprint from "The Complete Poems" of Joaquin Miller "That Gentle Man From Boston Town," "That Texan Cattle Man," "William Brown of Oregon."
Frederick A. Stokes Company: "Bessie Brown, M.D." and "A Kiss in the Rain," by Samuel Minturn Peck.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company: For the inclusion of the following Poems by Sam Walter Foss: "The Meeting of the Clabberhuses," "A Philosopher" and "The Prayer of Cyrus Brown" from "Dreams in Homespun," copyright, 1897. "Then Agin—" and "Husband and Heathen," from "Back Country Poems," copyright, 1894. "The Ideal Husband to His Wife," from "Whiffs from Wild Meadows," copyright, 1895.
Forbes & Company: "How Often?" "If I Should Die To-night," and "The Pessimist," by Ben King.
The Century Company: For permission to reprint from St. Nicholas Magazine the following poems by Ruth McEnery Stuart: "The Endless Song" and "The Hen-Roost Man"; and by Tudor Jenks: "An Old Bachelor"; and by Mary Mapes Dodge: "Home and Mother," "Life in Laconics," "Over the Way" and "The Zealless Xylographer."
Thomas L. Masson: For permission to reprint "The Kiss" from "Life."
E. P. Button & Company: "The Converted Cannibals" and "The Retired Pork-Butcher and the Spook," by G. E. Farrow.
Houghton Mifflin Company: With their permission and by special arrangement, as authorized publishers of the following authors' works, are used: Selections from Nora Perry, John Townsend Trowbridge, Charles E. Carryl, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bret Harte, James Thomas Fields, John G. Saxe, James Russell Lowell and Bayard Taylor.
A. P. Watt & Son and Doubleday, Page & Company: For their permission to use "Divided Destinies," "Study of an Elevation, in Indian Ink," and "Commonplaces," by Rudyard Kipling.
G. P. Putnam's Sons: Selections from the Poems of Eugene Fitch Ware and "The Wreck of the 'Julie Plante,'" by William Henry Drummond.
Henry Holt & Company: Two Parodies from "——and Other Poets," by Louis Untermeyer.
Dodd, Mead & Company: "The Constant Cannibal Maiden," "Blow Me Eyes" and "A Grain of Salt," by Wallace Irwin.
John Lane Company: For Poems by Owen Seaman, Anthony C. Deane and G. K. Chesterton.
The Smart Set: "Dighton is Engaged," and "Kitty Wants to Write," by Gelett Burgess.
Small, Maynard & Company: For selections from Holman F. Day, Richard Hovey and Clinton Scollard.
The Bobbs-Merrill Company: For special permission to reprint from the Biographical Edition of the Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley (copyright, 1913) the following Poems: "Little Orphant Annie," "The Lugubrious Whing-Whang," "The Man in the Moon," "The Old Man and Jim," "Prior to Miss Belle's Appearance," "Spirk Throll-Derisive," "When the Frost is on the Punkin."
The Bobbs-Merrill Company: For permission to use the following Poems by Robert J. Burdette, from "Smiles Yoked with Sighs" (copyright, 1900), "Orphan Born," "The Romance of the Carpet," "Soldier, Rest!", "Songs without Words," "What Will We Do?".
Charles Scribner's Sons: For permission to use "The Dinkey-Bird," "Dutch Lullaby," "The Little Peach," "The Truth About Horace," by Eugene Field.
I: BANTER PAGE The Played-Out Humorist W. S. Gilbert 25 The Practical Joker W. S. Gilbert 26 To Ph[oe]be W. S. Gilbert 28 Malbrouck Father Prout 29 Mark Twain: A Pipe Dream Oliver Herford 30 From a Full Heart A. A. Milne 31 The Ultimate Joy Unknown 32 Old Fashioned Fun W. M. Thackeray 33 When Moonlike Ore the Hazure Seas W. M. Thackeray 34 When the Frost is on the Punkin James Whitcomb Riley 34 Two Men Edwin Arlington Robinson 35 A Familiar Letter to Several Correspondents Oliver Wendell Holmes 36 The Height of the Ridiculous Oliver Wendell Holmes 38 Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe H. C. Bunner 40 A Rondelay Peter A. Motteux 41 Winter Dusk R. K. Munkittrick 42 Comic Miseries John G. Saxe 42 Early Rising John G. Saxe 44 To the Pliocene Skull Bret Harte 46 Ode to Work in Springtime Thomas R. Ybarra 47 Old Stuff Bert Leston Taylor 48 To Minerva Thomas Hood 49 The Legend of Heinz Von Stein Charles Godfrey Leland 49 The Truth About Horace Eugene Field 50 Propinquity Needed Charles Battell Loomis 51 In the Catacombs Harlan Hoge Ballard 52 Our Native Birds Nathan Haskell Dole 53 The Prayer of Cyrus Brown Sam Walter Foss 54 Erring in Company Franklin P. Adams 55 Cupid William Blake 56 If We Didn't Have to Eat Nixon Waterman 57 To My Empty Purse Geoffrey Chaucer 58 The Birth of Saint Patrick Samuel Lover 58 Her Little Feet William Ernest Henley 59 School James Kenneth Stephen 60 The Millennium James Kenneth Stephen 60 "Exactly So" Lady T. Hastings 61 Companions Charles Stuart Calverley 63 The Schoolmaster Charles Stuart Calverley 64 A Appeal for Are to the Sextant of the old Brick Meetinouse Arabella Willson 66 Cupid's Darts Unknown 67 A Plea for Trigamy Owen Seaman 68 The Pope Charles Lever 70 All at Sea Frederick Moxon 70 Ballad of the Primitive Jest Andrew Lang 72 Villanelle of Things Amusing Gelett Burgess 73 How to Eat Watermelons Frank Libby Stanton 73 A Vague Story Walter Parke 74 His Mother-in-Law Walter Parke 75 On a Deaf Housekeeper Unknown 76 Hom[oe]opathic Soup Unknown 76 Some Little Bug Roy Atwell 77 On the Downtown Side of an Uptown Street William Johnston 79 Written After Swimming from Sestos to Abydos Lord Byron 80 The Fisherman's Chant F. C. Burnand 81 Report of an Adjudged Case William Cowper 82 Prehistoric Smith David Law Proudfit 83 Song George Canning 84 Lying Thomas Moore 86 Strictly Germ-Proof Arthur Guiterman 87 The Lay of the Lover's Friend William B. Aytoun 88 Man's Place in Nature Unknown 89 The New Version W. J. Lampton 90 Amazing Facts About Food Unknown 91 Transcendentalism Unknown 92 A "Caudal" Lecture William Sawyer 92 Salad Sydney Smith 93 Nemesis J. W. Foley 94 "Mona Lisa" John Kendrick Bangs 95 The Siege of Djklxprwbz Eugene Fitch Ware 96 Rural Bliss Anthony C. Deane 97 An Old Bachelor Tudor Jenks 98 Song J. R. Planche 99 The Quest of the Purple Cow Hilda Johnson 100 St. Patrick of Ireland, My Dear! William Maginn 101 The Irish Schoolmaster James A. Sidey 103 Reflections on Cleopathera's Needle Cormac O'Leary 105 The Origin of Ireland Unknown 106 As to the Weather Unknown 107 The Twins Henry S. Leigh 108
II: THE ETERNAL FEMININE
He and She Eugene Fitch Ware 109 The Kiss Tom Masson 109 The Courtin' James Russell Lowell 110 Hiram Hover Bayard Taylor 113 Blow Me Eyes! Wallace Irwin 115 First Love Charles Stuart Calverley 116 What Is a Woman Like? Unknown 118 Mis' Smith Albert Bigelow Paine 119 Triolet Paul T. Gilbert 120 Bessie Brown, M.D. Samuel Minturn Peck 120 A Sketch from the Life Arthur Guiterman 121 Minguillo's Kiss Unknown 122 A Kiss in the Rain Samuel Minturn Peck 123 The Love-Knot Nora Perry 124 Over the Way Mary Mapes Dodge 125 Chorus of Women Aristophanes 126 The Widow Malone Charles Lever 126 The Smack in School William Pitt Palmer 128 'Spaecially Jim Bessie Morgan 129 Kitty of Coleraine Edward Lysaght 130 Why Don't the Men Propose? Thomas Haynes Bayly 130 A Pin Ella Wheeler Wilcox 132 The Whistler Unknown 133 The Cloud Oliver Herford 134 Constancy John Boyle O'Reilly 137 Ain't it Awful, Mabel? John Edward Hazzard 137 Wing Tee Wee J. P. Denison 139 Phyllis Lee Oliver Herford 139 The Sorrows of Werther W. M. Thackeray 140 The Unattainable Harry Romaine 141 Rory O'More; or, Good Omens Samuel Lover 141 A Dialogue from Plato Austin Dobson 142 Dora Versus Rose Austin Dobson 144 Tu Quoque Austin Dobson 146 Nothing to Wear William Allen Butler 148 My Mistress's Boots Frederick Locker-Lampson 153 Mrs. Smith Frederick Locker-Lampson 155 A Terrible Infant Frederick Locker-Lampson 156 Susan Frederick Locker-Lampson 157 "I Didn't Like Him" Harry B. Smith 157 My Angeline Harry B. Smith 158 Nora's Vow Sir Walter Scott 159 Husband and Heathen Sam Walter Foss 160 The Lost Pleiad Arthur Reed Ropes 161 The New Church Organ Will Carleton 162 Larrie O'Dee William W. Fink 165 No Fault in Women Robert Herrick 166 A Cosmopolitan Woman Unknown 167 Courting in Kentucky Florence E. Pratt 168 Any One Will Do Unknown 169 A Bird in the Hand Frederic E. Weatherly 170 The Belle of the Ball Winthrop Mackworth Praed 171 The Retort George Pope Morris 174 Behave Yoursel' Before Folk Alexander Rodger 174 The Chronicle: A Ballad Abraham Cowley 176 Buxom Joan William Congreve 179 Oh, My Geraldine F. C. Burnand 180 The Parterre E. H. Palmer 180 How to Ask and Have Samuel Lover 181 Sally in Our Alley Henry Carey 182 False Love and True Logic Laman Blanchard 183 Pet's Punishment J. Ashby-Sterry 184 Ad Chloen, M.A. Mortimer Collins 184 Chloe, M.A. Mortimer Collins 185 The Fair Millinger Fred W. Loring 186 Two Fishers Unknown 188 Maud Henry S. Leigh 188 Are Women Fair? Francis Davison 189 The Plaidie Charles Sibley 190 Feminine Arithmetic Charles Graham Halpine 191 Lord Guy George F. Warren 191 Sary "Fixes Up" Things Albert Bigelow Paine 192 The Constant Cannibal Maiden Wallace Irwin 194 Widow Bedott to Elder Sniffles Frances M. Whitcher 195 Under the Mistletoe George Francis Shults 196 The Broken Pitcher William E. Aytoun 196 Gifts Returned Walter Savage Landor 198
III: LOVE AND COURTSHIP
Noureddin, the Son of the Shah Clinton Scollard 199 The Usual Way Frederic E. Weatherly 200 The Way to Arcady H. C. Bunner 201 My Love and My Heart Henry S. Leigh 204 Quite by Chance Frederick Langbridge 205 The Nun Leigh Hunt 206 The Chemist to His Love Unknown 206 Categorical Courtship Unknown 207 Lanty Leary Samuel Lover 208 The Secret Combination Ellis Parker Butler 209 Forty Years After H. H. Porter 210 Cupid Ben Jonson 211 Paring-Time Anticipated William Cowper 212 Why H. P. Stevens 214 The Sabine Farmer's Serenade Father Prout 214 I Hae Laid a Herring in Saut James Tytler 216 The Clown's Courtship Unknown 217 Out Upon It Sir John Suckling 218 Love is Like a Dizziness James Hogg 218 The Kitchen Clock John Vance Cheney 220 Lady Mine H. E. Clarke 221 Ballade of the Golfer in Love Clinton Scollard 222 Ballade of Forgotten Loves Arthur Grissom 223
A Ballade of Suicide G. K. Chesterton 224 Finnigan to Flannigan S. W. Gillinan 225 Study of an Elevation in Indian Ink Rudyard Kipling 226 The V-a-s-e James Jeffrey Roche 227 Miniver Cheevy Edwin Arlington Robinson 229 The Recruit Robert W. Chambers 230 Officer Brady Robert W. Chambers 232 Post-Impressionism Bert Leston Taylor 235 To the Portrait of "A Gentleman" Oliver Wendell Holmes 236 Cacoethes Scribendi Oliver Wendell Holmes 238 Contentment Oliver Wendell Holmes 238 A Boston Lullaby James Jeffrey Roche 240 A Grain of Salt Wallace Irwin 241 Song Richard Lovelace 241 A Philosopher Sam Walter Foss 242 The Meeting of the Clabberhuses Sam Walter Foss 244 The Ideal Husband to His Wife Sam Walter Foss 246 Distichs John Hay 247 The Hen-roost Man Ruth McEnery Stuart 247 If They Meant All They Say Alice Duer Miller 247 The Man Stephen Crane 248 A Thought James Kenneth Stephen 248 The Musical Ass Tomaso de Yriarte 249 The Knife-Grinder George Canning 249 St. Anthony's Sermon to the Fishes Abraham a Sancta-Clara 251 The Battle of Blenheim Robert Southey 252 The Three Black Crows John Byrom 254 To the Terrestrial Globe W. S. Gilbert 256 Etiquette W. S. Gilbert 256 A Modest Wit Selleck Osborn 260 The Latest Decalogue Arthur Hugh Clough 261 A Simile Matthew Prior 262 By Parcels Post George R. Sims 262 All's Well That Ends Well Unknown 264 The Contrast Captain C. Morris 265 The Devonshire Lane John Marriott 266 A Splendid Fellow H. C. Dodge 267 If H. C. Dodge 268 Accepted and Will Appear Parmenas Mix 268 The Little Vagabond William Blake 269 Sympathy Reginald Heber 270 The Religion of Hudibras Samuel Butler 271 Holy Willie's Prayer Robert Burns 272 The Learned Negro Unknown 274 True to Poll F. C. Burnand 275 Trust in Women Unknown 276 The Literary Lady Richard Brinsley Sheridan 278 Twelve Articles Dean Swift 279 All-Saints Edmund Yates 280 How to Make a Man of Consequence Mark Lemon 280 On a Magazine Sonnet Russell Hilliard Loines 281 Paradise George Birdseye 281 The Friar of Orders Gray John O'Keefe 282 Of a Certain Man Sir John Harrington 282 Clean Clara W. B. Rands 283 Christmas Chimes Unknown 284 The Ruling Passion Alexander Pope 285 The Pope and the Net Robert Browning 286 The Actor John Wolcot 287 The Lost Spectacles Unknown 287 That Texan Cattle Man Joaquin Miller 288 Fable Ralph Waldo Emerson 290 Hoch! Der Kaiser Rodney Blake 291 What Mr. Robinson Thinks James Russell Lowell 292 The Candidate's Creed James Russell Lowell 294 The Razor Seller John Wolcot 297 The Devil's Walk on Earth Robert Southey 298 Father Molloy Samuel Lover 307 The Owl-Critic James Thomas Fields 309 What Will We Do? Robert J. Burdette 311 Life in Laconics Mary Mapes Dodge 311 On Knowing When to Stop L. J. Bridgman 312 Rev. Gabe Tucker's Remarks Unknown 312 Thursday Frederic E. Weatherly 313 Sky-Making Mortimer Collins 314 The Positivists Mortimer Collins 315 Martial in London Mortimer Collins 316 The Splendid Shilling John Philips 316 After Horace A. D. Godley 320 Of a Precise Tailor Sir John Harrington 322 Money Jehan du Pontalais 323 Boston Nursery Rhymes Rev. Joseph Cook 324 Kentucky Philosophy Harrison Robertson 325 John Grumlie Allan Cunningham 326 A Song of Impossibilities Winthrop Mackworth Praed 327 Song John Donne 330 The Oubit Charles Kingsley 330 Double Ballade of Primitive Man Andrew Lang 331 Phillis's Age Matthew Prior 332
Good and Bad Luck John Hay 334 Bangkolidye Barry Pain 334 Pensees De Noel A. D. Godley 336 A Ballade of an Anti-Puritan G. K. Chesterton 337 Pessimism Newton Mackintosh 338 Cynical Ode to an Ultra-Cynical Public Charles Mackay 339 Youth and Art Robert Browning 339 The Bachelor's Dream Thomas Hood 342 All Things Except Myself I Know Francois Villon 343 The Joys of Marriage Charles Cotton 344 The Third Proposition Madeline Bridges 345 The Ballad of Cassandra Brown Helen Gray Cone 345 What's in a Name? R. K. Munkittrick 347 Too Late Fits Hugh Ludlow 348 The Annuity George Outram 350 K. K.—Can't Calculate Frances M. Whitcher 353 Northern Farmer Lord Tennyson 354 Fin de Siecle Unknown 357 Then Ag'in Sam Walter Foss 357 The Pessimist Ben King 358 Without and Within James Russell Lowell 359 Same Old Story Harry B. Smith 360
Woman's Will John G. Saxe 362 Cynicus to W. Shakespeare James Kenneth Stephen 362 Senex to Matt. Prior James Kenneth Stephen 362 To a Blockhead Alexander Pope 362 The Fool and the Poet Alexander Pope 363 A Rhymester Samuel Taylor Coleridge 363 Giles's Hope Samuel Taylor Coleridge 363 Cologne Samuel Taylor Coleridge 363 An Eternal Poem Samuel Taylor Coleridge 364 On a Bad Singer Samuel Taylor Coleridge 364 Job Samuel Taylor Coleridge 364 Reasons for Drinking Dr. Henry Aldrich 364 Smatterers Samuel Butler 365 Hypocrisy Samuel Butler 365 To Doctor Empiric Ben Jonson 365 A Remedy Worse than the Disease Matthew Prior 365 A Wife Richard Brinsley Sheridan 366 The Honey-Moon Walter Savage Landor 366 Dido Richard Porson 366 An Epitaph George John Cayley 366 On Taking a Wife Thomas Moore 367 Upon Being Obliged to Leave a Pleasant Party Thomas Moore 367 Some Ladies Frederick Locker-Lampson 367 On a Sense of Humor Frederick Locker-Lampson 367 On Hearing a Lady Praise a Certain Rev. Doctor's Eyes George Outram 368 Epitaph Intended for His Wife John Dryden 368 To a Capricious Friend Joseph Addison 368 Which is Which John Byrom 368 On a Full-Length Portrait of Beau Marsh Lord Chesterfield 369 On Scotland Cleveland 369 Mendax Lessing 369 To a Slow Walker and Quick Eater Lessing 369 What's My Thought Like? Thomas Moore 370 Of All the Men Thomas Moore 370 On Butler's Monument Rev. Samuel Wesley 370 A Conjugal Conundrum Unknown 371
Lovers and a Reflection Charles Stuart Calverley 372 Our Hymn Oliver Wendell Holmes 374 "Soldier, Rest!" Robert J. Burdette 374 Imitation Anthony C. Deane 375 The Mighty Must W. S. Gilbert 376 Midsummer Madness Unknown 377 Mavrone Arthur Guiterman 378 Lilies Don Marquis 379 For I am Sad Don Marquis 379 A Little Swirl of Vers Libre Thomas R. Ybarra 380 Young Lochinvar Unknown 381 Imagiste Love Lines Unknown 383 Bygones Bert Lesion Taylor 383 Justice to Scotland Unknown 384 Lament of the Scotch-Irish Exile James Jeffrey Roche 385 A Song of Sorrow Charles Battell Loomis 386 The Rejected "National Hymns" Robert H. Newell 387 The Editor's Wooing Robert H. Newell 389 The Baby's Debut James Smith 390 The Cantelope Bayard Taylor 393 Never Forget Your Parents Franklin P. Adams 394 A Girl was Too Reckless of Grammar Guy Wetmore Carryl 395 Behold the Deeds! H. C. Bunner 397 Villon's Straight Tip to All Cross Coves William Ernest Henley 399 Culture in the Slums William Ernest Henley 400 The Lawyer's Invocation to Spring Henry Howard Brownell 402 North, East, South, and West Unknown 403 Martin Luther at Potsdam Barry Pain 404 An Idyll of Phatte and Leene Unknown 406 The House that Jack Built Samuel Taylor Coleridge 407 Palabras Grandiosas Bayard Taylor 407 A Love Playnt Godfrey Turner 408 Darwinity Herman C. Merivale 409 Select Passages from a Coming Poet F. Anstey 410 The Romaunt of Humpty Dumpty Henry S. Leigh 411 The Wedding Thomas Hood, Jr. 412 In Memoriam Technicam Thomas Hood, Jr. 413 "Songs Without Words" Robert J. Burdette 413 At the Sign of the Cock Owen Seaman 414 Presto Furioso Owen Seaman 417 To Julia in Shooting Togs Owen Seaman 418 Farewell Bert Leston Taylor 419 Here is the Tale Anthony C. Deane 421 The Willows Bret Harte 423 A Ballad Guy Wetmore Carryl 426 The Translated Way Franklin P. Adams 427 Commonplaces Rudyard Kipling 427 Angelo Orders His Dinner Bayard Taylor 428 The Promissory Note Bayard Taylor 429 Camerados Bayard Taylor 430 The Last Ride Together James Kenneth Stephen 431 Imitation of Walt Whitman Unknown 434 Salad Mortimer Collins 436 If Mortimer Collins 436 The Jabberwocky of Authors Harry Persons Taber 437 The Town of Nice Herman C. Merivale 438 The Willow-Tree W. M. Thackeray 439 A Ballade of Ballade-Mongers Augustus M. Moore 441
The Confession Richard Harris Barham 443 ["Thomas Ingoldsby"] If You Have Seen Thomas Moore 444 Circumstance Frederick Locker-Lampson 444 Elegy Arthur Guiterman 445 Our Traveler H. Cholmondeley-Pennell 445 Optimism Newton Mackintosh 445 The Declaration N. P. Willis 446 He Came to Pay Parmenas Mix 447 The Forlorn One Richard Harris Barham 449 ["Thomas Ingoldsby"] Rural Raptures Unknown 450 A Fragment Unknown 450 The Bitter Bit William E. Aytoun 451 Comfort in Affliction William E. Aytoun 453 The Husband's Petition William E. Aytoun 454 Lines Written After a Battle Unknown 456 Lines Unknown 456 The Imaginative Crisis Unknown 457
The Higher Pantheism in a Nut-Shell Algernon Charles Swinburne 458 Nephelidia Algernon Charles Swinburne 459 Up the Spout Algernon Charles Swinburne 460 In Memoriam Cuthbert Bede 463 Lucy Lake Newton Mackintosh 463 The Cock and the Bull Charles Stuart Calverley 464 Ballad Charles Stuart Calverley 467 Disaster Charles Stuart Calverley 469 Wordsworthian Reminiscence Unknown 470 Inspect Us Edith Daniell 471 The Messed Damozel Charles Hanson Towne 471 A Melton Mowbray Pork-Pie Richard le Gallienne 472 Israfiddlestrings Unknown 472 After Dilettante Concetti H. D. Traill 474 Whenceness of the Which Unknown 476 The Little Star Unknown 476 The Original Lamb Unknown 477 Sainte Margerie Unknown 477 Robert Frost Louis Untermeyer 479 Owen Seaman Louis Untermeyer 480 The Modern Hiawatha Unknown 482 Somewhere-in-Europe-Wocky F. G. Hartswick 482 Rigid Body Sings J. C. Maxwell 483 A Ballad of High Endeavor Unknown 484 Father William Lewis Carroll 485 The Poets at Tea Barry Pain 486 How Often Ben King 489 If I Should Die To-Night Ben King 489 "The Day is Done" Phoebe Cary 490 Jacob Phoebe Cary 491 Ballad of the Canal Phoebe Cary 492 "There's a Bower of Beanvines" Phoebe Cary 493 Reuben Phoebe Cary 493 The Wife Phoebe Cary 494 When Lovely Woman Phoebe Cary 494 John Thomson's Daughter Phoebe Cary 494 A Portrait John Keats 496 Annabel Lee Stanley Huntley 497 Home Sweet Home with Variations H. C. Bunner 498 An Old Song by New Singers A. C. Wilkie 506 More Impressions Oscuro Wildgoose 509 Nursery Rhymes a la Mode Unknown 509 A Maudle-In Ballad Unknown 510 Gillian Unknown 511 Extracts from the Rubaiyat of Omar Cayenne Gelett Burgess 512 Diversions of the Re-Echo Club Carolyn Wells 515 Styx River Anthology Carolyn Wells 521 Answer to Master Wither's Song, "Shall I, Wasting in Despair?" Ben Jonson 526 Song of the Springtide Unknown 527 The Village Choir Unknown 528 My Foe Unknown 529 Nursery Song in Pidgin English Unknown 530 Father William Unknown 531 A Poe-'em of Passion C. F. Lummis 532 How the Daughters Come Down at Dunoon H. Cholmondeley-Pennell 533 To an Importunate Host Unknown 534 Cremation William Sawyer 534 An Imitation of Wordsworth Catharine M. Fanshawe 535 The Lay of the Love-Lorn Aytoun and Martin 537 Only Seven Henry S. Leigh 543 'Twas Ever Thus Henry S. Leigh 544 Foam and Fangs Walter Parke 544
Little Billee W. M. Thackeray 546 The Crystal Palace W. M. Thackeray 547 The Wofle New Ballad of Jane Roney and Mary Brown W. M. Thackeray 552 King John and the Abbot Unknown 554 On the Death of a Favorite Cat Thomas Gray 557 Misadventures at Margate Richard Harris Barham 558 ["Thomas Ingoldsby"] The Gouty Merchant and the Stranger Horace Smith 563 The Diverting History of John Gilpin William Cowper 564 Paddy O'Rafther Samuel Lover 571 Here She Goes and There She Goes James Nack 572 The Quaker's Meeting Samuel Lover 576 The Jester Condemned to Death Horace Smith 578 The Deacon's Masterpiece Oliver Wendell Holmes 580 The Ballad of the Oysterman Oliver Wendell Holmes 583 The Well of St. Keyne Robert Southey 584 The Jackdaw of Rheims Richard Harris Barham 586 ["Thomas Ingoldsby"] The Knight and the Lady Richard Harris Barham 590 ["Thomas Ingoldsby"] An Eastern Question H. M. Paull 598 My Aunt's Spectre Mortimer Collins 600 Casey at the Bat Ernest Lawrence Thayer 601 The Pied Piper of Hamelin Robert Browning 603 The Goose Lord Tennyson 611 The Ballad of Charity Charles Godfrey Leland 613 The Post Captain Charles E. Carryl 615 Robinson Crusoe's Story Charles E. Carryl 617 Ben Bluff Thomas Hood 619 The Pilgrims and the Peas John Wolcot 621 Tam O'Shanter Robert Burns 623 That Gentleman from Boston Town Joaquin Miller 629 The Yarn of the "Nancy Bell" W. S. Gilbert 632 Ferdinando and Elvira W. S. Gilbert 635 Gentle Alice Brown W. S. Gilbert 639 The Story of Prince Agib W. S. Gilbert 641 Sir Guy the Crusader W. S. Gilbert 644 Kitty Wants to Write Gelett Burgess 646 Dighton is Engaged Gelett Burgess 647 Plain Language from Truthful James Bret Harte 648 The Society Upon the Stanisalaus Bret Harte 650 "Jim" Bret Harte 652 William Brown of Oregon Joaquin Miller 653 Little Breeches John Hay 657 The Enchanted Shirt John Hay 658 Jim Bludso John Hay 661 Wreck of the "Julie Plante" William Henry Drummond 662 The Alarmed Skipper James T. Fields 664 The Elderly Gentleman George Canning 665 Saying Not Meaning William Basil Wake 666 Hans Breitmann's Party Charles Godfrey Leland 668 Ballad by Hans Breitmann Charles Godfrey Leland 669 Grampy Sings a Song Holman F. Day 670 The First Banjo Irwin Russell 672 The Romance of the Carpet Robert J. Burdette 674 Hunting of the Snark, The Lewis Carroll 676 The Old Man and Jim James Whitcomb Riley 678 A Sailor's Yarn James Jeffrey Roche 680 The Converted Cannibals G. E. Farrow 683 The Retired Pork-Butcher and the spook G. E. Farrow 685 Skipper Ireson's Ride John Greenleaf Whittier 688 Darius Green and His Flying-Machine John Townsend Trowbridge 690 A Great Fight Robert H. Newell 697 The Donnybrook Jig Viscount Dillon 700 Unfortunate Miss Bailey Unknown 702 The Laird o' Cockpen Lady Nairne 703 A Wedding Sir John Suckling 704
The Ahkond of Swat Edward Lear 708 The Ahkoond of Swat George Thomas Lanigan 710 Dirge of the Moolla of Kotal George Thomas Lanigan 712 The Ballad of Bouillabaisse W. M. Thackeray 714 Ould Doctor Mack Alfred Perceval Graves 717 Father O'Flynn Alfred Perceval Graves 719 The Bald-headed Tyrant Vandyne, Mary E. 720 Barney McGee Richard Hovey 721 Address to the Toothache Robert Burns 724 A Farewell to Tobacco Charles Lamb 726 John Barleycorn Robert Burns 730 Stanzas to Pale Ale Unknown 732 Ode to Tobacco Charles Stuart Calverley 732 Sonnet to a Clam John G. Saxe 734 To a Fly John Wolcot 734 Ode to a Bobtailed Cat Unknown 737
An Elegy Oliver Goldsmith 740 Parson Gray Oliver Goldsmith 741 The Irishman and the Lady William Maginn 742 The Cataract of Lodore Robert Southey 743 Lay of the Deserted Influenzaed H. Cholmondeley-Pennell 746 Bellagcholly Days Unknown 747 Rhyme of the Rail John G. Saxe 748 Echo John G. Saxe 750 Song Joseph Addison 751 A Gentle Echo on Woman Dean Swift 752 Lay of Ancient Rome Thomas R. Ybarra 753 A New Song John Gay 754 The American Traveller Robert H. Newell 757 The Zealless Xylographer Mary Mapes Dodge 759 The Old Line Fence A. W. Bellaw 760 O-U-G-H Charles Battell Loomis 761 Enigma on the Letter H Catherine M. Fanshawe 762 Travesty of Miss Fanshawe's Enigma Horace Mayhew 763 An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog Oliver Goldsmith 764 An Epitaph Matthew Prior 765 Old Grimes Albert Gorton Greene 766 The Endless Song Ruth McEnery Stuart 768 The Hundred Best Books Mostyn T. Pigott 769 The Cosmic Egg Unknown 771 Five Wines Robert Herrick 772 A Rhyme for Musicians E. Lemke 772 My Madeline Walter Parke 773 Susan Simpson Unknown 774 The March to Moscow Robert Southey 775 Half Hours with the Classics H. J. DeBurgh 779 On the Oxford Carrier John Milton 780 Ninety-Nine in the Shade Rossiter Johnson 781 The Triolet William Ernest Henley 782 The Rondeau Austin Dobson 782 Life Unknown 783 Ode to the Human Heart Laman Blanchard 784 A Strike Among the Poets Unknown 785 Whatever Is, Is Right Laman Blanchard 786 Nothing Richard Porson 786 Dirge Unknown 787 O D V Unknown 788 A Man of Words Unknown 790 Similes Unknown 791 No! Thomas Hood 792 Faithless Sally Brown Thomas Hood 792 Tim Turpin Thomas Hood 795 Faithless Nelly Gray Thomas Hood 797 Sally Simpkin's Lament Thomas Hood 800 Death's Ramble Thomas Hood 801 Panegyric on the Ladies Unknown 803 Ambiguous Lines Unknown 804 Surnames James Smith 804 A Ternary of Littles, Upon a Pipkin of Jelly Sent to a Lady Robert Herrick 806 A Carman's Account of a Law Suit Sir David Lindesay 807 Out of Sight, Out of Mind Barnaby Googe 807 Nongtongpaw Charles Dibdin 808 Logical English Unknown 809 Logic Unknown 809 The Careful Penman Unknown 810 Questions with Answers Unknown 810 Conjugal Conjugations A. W. Bellaw 810 Love's Moods and Senses Unknown 812 The Siege of Belgrade Unknown 813 The Happy Man Gilles Menage 814 The Bells Unknown 816 Takings Thomas Hood, Jr. 817 A Bachelor's Mono-Rhyme Charles Mackay 817 The Art of Bookkeeping An Invitation to the Zoological Laman Blanchard 818 Gardens Unknown 822 A Nocturnal Sketch Thomas Hood 823 Lovelilts Marion Hill 824 Jocosa Lyra Austin Dobson 824 To a Thesaurus Franklin P. Adams 825 The Future of the Classics Unknown 826 Cautionary Verses Theodore Hook 828 The War: A-Z John R. Edwards 829 Lines to Miss Florence Huntingdon Unknown 830 To My Nose Alfred A. Forrester 832 A Polka Lyric Barclay Philips 832 A Catalectic Monody Unknown 833 Ode for a Social Meeting Oliver Wendell Holmes 833 The Jovial Priest's Confession Leigh Hunt 834 Limericks Carolyn Wells 835
Lunar Stanzas Henry Coggswell Knight 841 The Whango Tree Unknown 842 Three Children Unknown 843 'Tis Midnight Unknown 843 Cossimbazar Henry S. Leigh 843 An Unexpected Fact Edward Cannon 844 The Cumberbunce Paul West 844 Mr. Finney's Turnip Unknown 847 Nonsense Verses Charles Lamb 848 Like to the Thundering Tone Bishop Corbet 848 Aestivation Oliver Wendell Holmes 849 Uncle Simon and Uncle Jim Charles Farrar Browne 849 ["Artemus Ward"] A Tragic Story W. M. Thackeray 850 Sonnet Found in a Deserted Mad House Unknown 851 The Jim-Jam King of the Jou-Jous Alaric Bertrand Stuart 851 To Marie John Bennett 852 My Dream Unknown 853 The Rollicking Mastodon Arthur Macy 853 The Invisible Bridge Gelett Burgess 855 The Lazy Roof Gelett Burgess 855 My Feet Gelett Burgess 855 Spirk Troll-Derisive James Whitcomb Riley 855 The Man in the Moon James Whitcomb Riley 856 The Lugubrious Whing-Whang James Whitcomb Riley 858 The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo Edward Lear 859 The Jumbles Edward Lear 862 The Pobble Who Has no Toes Edward Lear 865 The New Vestments Edward Lear 866 The Two Old Bachelors Edward Lear 868 Jabberwocky Lewis Carroll 869 Ways and Means Lewis Carroll 870 Humpty Dumpty's Recitation Lewis Carroll 872 Some Hallucinations Lewis Carroll 874 Sing for the Garish Eye W. S. Gilbert 875 The Shipwreck E. H. Palmer 876 Uffia Harriet R. White 877 'Tis Sweet to Roam Unknown 878 Three Jovial Huntsmen Unknown 878 King Arthur Unknown 879 Hyder Iddle Unknown 879 The Ocean Wanderer Unknown 879 Scientific Proof J. W. Foley 880 The Thingumbob Unknown 882 Wonders of Nature Unknown 882 Lines by an Old Fogy Unknown 882 A Country Summer Pastoral Unknown 883 Turvey Top William Sawyer 884 A Ballad of Bedlam Unknown 886
XIV: NATURAL HISTORY
The Fastidious Serpent Henry Johnstone 887 The Legend of the First Cam-u-el Arthur Guiterman 888 Unsatisfied Yearning R. K. Munkittrick 889 Kindly Advice Unknown 890 Kindness to Animals J. Ashby-Sterry 891 To Be or Not To Be Unknown 891 The Hen Matthew Claudius 892 Of Baiting the Lion Owen Seaman 893 The Flamingo Lewis Gaylord Clark 894 Why Doth a Pussy Cat? Burges Johnson 895 The Walrus and the Carpenter Lewis Carroll 896 Nirvana Unknown 900 The Catfish Oliver Herford 900 War Relief Oliver Herford 901 The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Edward Lear 901 Mexican Serenade Arthur Guiterman 902 Orphan Born Robert J. Burdette 903 Divided Destinies Rudyard Kipling 904 The Viper Hilaire Belloc 906 The Llama Hilaire Belloc 906 The Yak Hilaire Belloc 906 The Frog Hilaire Belloc 907 The Microbe Hilaire Belloc 907 The Great Black Crow Philip James Bailey 907 The Colubriad William Cowper 909 The Retired Cat William Cowper 910 A Darwinian Ballad Unknown 913 The Pig Robert Southey 914 A Fish Story Henry A. Beers 916 The Cameronian Cat Unknown 917 The Young Gazelle Walter Parke 918 The Ballad of the Emeu Bret Harte 921 The Turtle and Flamingo James Thomas Fields 923
Prior to Miss Belle's Appearance James Whitcomb Riley 925 There Was a Little Girl Unknown 926 The Naughty Darkey Boy Unknown 927 Dutch Lullaby Eugene Field 928 The Dinkey-Bird Eugene Field 929 The Little Peach Eugene Field 931 Counsel to Those that Eat Unknown 932 Home and Mother Mary Mapes Dodge 932 Little Orphant Annie James Whitcomb Riley 934 A Visit From St. Nicholas Clement Clarke Moore 935 A Nursery Legend Henry S. Leigh 937 A Little Goose Eliza Sproat Turner 938 Leedle Yawcob Strauss Charles Follen Adams 940 A Parental Ode to My Son, Aged Three Years and Five Months Thomas Hood 941 Little Mamma Charles Henry Webb 943 The Comical Girl M. Pelham 946 Bunches of Grapes Walter Ramal 947
XVI: IMMORTAL STANZAS
The Purple Cow Gelett Burgess 948 The Young Lady of Niger Unknown 948 The Laughing Willow Oliver Herford 948 Said Opie Reed Julian Street and James Montgomery Flagg 948 Manila Eugene F. Ware 949 On the Aristocracy of Harvard Dr. Samuel G. Bushnell 949 On the Democracy of Yale Dean Jones 949 The Herring Sir Walter Scott 949 If the Man Samuel Johnson 949 The Kilkenny Cats Unknown 950 Poor Dear Grandpapa D'Arcy W. Thompson 950 More Walks Richard Harris Barham 950 ["Thomas Ingoldsby"] Indifference Unknown 950 Madame Sans Souci Unknown 950 A Riddle Unknown 951 If Unknown 951
THE BOOK OF
THE PLAYED-OUT HUMOURIST
Quixotic is his enterprise and hopeless his adventure is, Who seeks for jocularities that haven't yet been said; The world has joked incessantly for over fifty centuries, And every joke that's possible has long ago been made. I started as a humourist with lots of mental fizziness, But humour is a drug which it's the fashion to abuse; For my stock-in-trade, my fixtures and the good-will of the business No reasonable offer I am likely to refuse. And if anybody choose He may circulate the news That no reasonable offer I am likely to refuse.
Oh, happy was that humourist—the first that made a pun at all— Who when a joke occurred to him, however poor and mean, Was absolutely certain that it never had been done at all— How popular at dinners must that humourist have been! Oh, the days when some step-father for a query held a handle out,— The door-mat from the scraper, is it distant very far? And when no one knew where Moses was when Aaron put the candle out, And no one had discovered that a door could be a-jar! But your modern hearers are In their tastes particular, And they sneer if you inform them that a door can be a jar!
In search of quip and quiddity I've sat all day alone, apart— And all that I could hit on as a problem was—to find Analogy between a scrag of mutton and a Bony-part, Which offers slight employment to the speculative mind. For you cannot call it very good, however great your charity— It's not the sort of humour that is greeted with a shout— And I've come to the conclusion that my mine of jocularity, In present Anno Domini is worked completely out! Though the notion you may scout, I can prove beyond a doubt That my mine of jocularity is worked completely out!
W. S. Gilbert.
THE PRACTICAL JOKER
Oh, what a fund of joy jocund lies hid in harmless hoaxes! What keen enjoyment springs From cheap and simple things! What deep delight from sources trite inventive humour coaxes, That pain and trouble brew For every one but you!
Gunpowder placed inside its waist improves a mild Havana, Its unexpected flash Burns eyebrows and moustache. When people dine no kind of wine beats ipecacuanha, But common sense suggests You keep it for your guests—
Then naught annoys the organ boys like throwing red hot coppers. And much amusement bides In common butter slides; And stringy snares across the stairs cause unexpected croppers.
Coal scuttles, recollect, Produce the same effect.
A man possessed Of common sense Need not invest At great expense
It does not call For pocket deep, These jokes are all Extremely cheap.
If you commence with eighteenpence—it's all you'll have to pay; You may command a pleasant and a most instructive day.
A good spring gun breeds endless fun, and makes men jump like rockets—
And turnip heads on posts Make very decent ghosts.
Then hornets sting like anything, when placed in waistcoat pockets—
Burnt cork and walnut juice Are not without their use.
No fun compares with easy chairs whose seats are stuffed with needles—
Live shrimps their patience tax When put down people's backs.
Surprising, too, what one can do with a pint of fat black beetles—
And treacle on a chair Will make a Quaker swear!
Then sharp tin tacks And pocket squirts— And cobbler's wax For ladies' skirts—
And slimy slugs On bedroom floors— And water jugs On open doors—
Prepared with these cheap properties, amusing tricks to play Upon a friend a man may spend a most delightful day.
W. S. Gilbert.
"Gentle, modest little flower, Sweet epitome of May, Love me but for half an hour, Love me, love me, little fay." Sentences so fiercely flaming In your tiny, shell-like ear, I should always be exclaiming If I loved you, Ph[oe]be dear.
"Smiles that thrill from any distance Shed upon me while I sing! Please ecstaticize existence, Love me, oh, thou fairy thing!" Words like these, outpouring sadly, You'd perpetually hear, If I loved you fondly, madly;— But I do not, Ph[oe]be dear.
W. S. Gilbert.
Malbrouck, the prince of commanders, Is gone to the war in Flanders; His fame is like Alexander's; But when will he come home?
Perhaps at Trinity Feast, or Perhaps he may come at Easter. Egad! he had better make haste, or We fear he may never come.
For Trinity Feast is over, And has brought no news from Dover; And Easter is past, moreover, And Malbrouck still delays.
Milady in her watch-tower Spends many a pensive hour, Not well knowing why or how her Dear lord from England stays.
While sitting quite forlorn in That tower, she spies returning A page clad in deep mourning, With fainting steps and slow.
"O page, prithee, come faster! What news do you bring of your master? I fear there is some disaster, Your looks are so full of woe."
"The news I bring, fair lady," With sorrowful accent said he, "Is one you are not ready So soon, alas! to hear.
"But since to speak I'm hurried," Added this page, quite flurried, "Malbrouck is dead and buried!" (And here he shed a tear.)
"He's dead! he's dead as a herring! For I beheld his 'berring,' And four officers transferring His corpse away from the field.
"One officer carried his sabre, And he carried it not without labour, Much envying his next neighbour, Who only bore a shield.
"The third was helmet-bearer— That helmet which on its wearer Filled all who saw with terror, And covered a hero's brains.
"Now, having got so far, I Find that (by the Lord Harry!) The fourth is left nothing to carry; So there the thing remains."
Translated by Father Prout.
MARK TWAIN: A PIPE DREAM
Well I recall how first I met Mark Twain—an infant barely three Rolling a tiny cigarette While cooing on his nurse's knee.
Since then in every sort of place I've met with Mark and heard him joke, Yet how can I describe his face? I never saw it for the smoke.
At school he won a smokership, At Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.) His name was soon on every lip, They made him "smoker" of his class.
Who will forget his smoking bout With Mount Vesuvius—our cheers— When Mount Vesuvius went out And didn't smoke again for years?
The news was flashed to England's King, Who begged Mark Twain to come and stay, Offered him dukedoms—anything To smoke the London fog away.
But Mark was firm. "I bow," said he, "To no imperial command, No ducal coronet for me, My smoke is for my native land!" For Mark there waits a brighter crown! When Peter comes his card to read— He'll take the sign "No Smoking" down, Then Heaven will be Heaven indeed.
FROM A FULL HEART
In days of peace my fellow-men Rightly regarded me as more like A Bishop than a Major-Gen., And nothing since has made me warlike; But when this age-long struggle ends And I have seen the Allies dish up The goose of Hindenburg—oh, friends! I shall out-bish the mildest Bishop.
When the War is over and the Kaiser's out of print I'm going to buy some tortoises and watch the beggars sprint; When the War is over and the sword at last we sheathe I'm going to keep a jelly-fish and listen to it breathe.
I never really longed for gore, And any taste for red corpuscles That lingered with me left before The German troops had entered Brussels. In early days the Colonel's "'Shun!" Froze me; and as the war grew older The noise of some one else's gun Left me considerably colder.
When the War is over and the battle has been won I'm going to buy a barnacle and take it for a run; When the War is over and the German fleet we sink I'm going to keep a silkworm's egg and listen to it think.
The Captains and the Kings depart— It may be so, but not lieutenants; Dawn after weary dawn I start The never ending round of penance; One rock amid the welter stands On which my gaze is fixed intently: An after-life in quiet lands Lived very lazily and gently.
When the War is over and we've done the Belgians proud I'm going to keep a chrysalis and read to it aloud; When the War is over and we've finished up the show I'm going to plant a lemon pip and listen to it grow.
Oh, I'm tired of the noise and turmoil of battle, And I'm even upset by the lowing of cattle, And the clang of the bluebells is death to my liver, And the roar of the dandelion gives me a shiver, And a glacier, in movement, is much too exciting, And I'm nervous, when standing on one, of alighting— Give me Peace; that is all, that is all that I seek.... Say, starting on Saturday week.
A. A. Milne.
THE ULTIMATE JOY
I have felt the thrill of passion in the poet's mystic book And I've lingered in delight to catch the rhythm of the brook; I've felt the ecstasy that comes when prima donnas reach For upper C and hold it in a long, melodious screech. And yet the charm of all these blissful memories fades away As I think upon the fortune that befell the other day, As I bring to recollection, with a joyous, wistful sigh, That I woke and felt the need of extra covers in July.
Oh, eerie hour of drowsiness—'twas like a fairy spell, That respite from the terrors we have known, alas, so well, The malevolent mosquito, with a limp and idle bill, Hung supinely from the ceiling, all exhausted by his chill. And the early morning sunbeam lost his customary leer And brought a gracious greeting and a prophecy of cheer; A generous affability reached up from earth to sky, When I woke and felt the need of extra covers in July.
In every life there comes a time of happiness supreme, When joy becomes reality and not a glittering dream. 'Tis less appreciated, but it's worth a great deal more Than tides which taken at their flood lead on to fortune's shore. How vain is Art's illusion, and how potent Nature's sway When once in kindly mood she deigns to waft our woes away! And the memory will cheer me, though all other pleasures fly, Of how I woke and needed extra covers in July.
OLD FASHIONED FUN
When that old joke was new, It was not hard to joke, And puns we now pooh-pooh, Great laughter would provoke.
True wit was seldom heard, And humor shown by few, When reign'd King George the Third, And that old joke was new.
It passed indeed for wit, Did this achievement rare, When down your friend would sit, To steal away his chair.
You brought him to the floor, You bruised him black and blue, And this would cause a roar, When your old joke was new.
W. M. Thackeray.
WHEN MOONLIKE ORE THE HAZURE SEAS
When moonlike ore the hazure seas In soft effulgence swells, When silver jews and balmy breaze Bend down the Lily's bells; When calm and deap, the rosy sleap Has lapt your soal in dreems, R Hangeline! R lady mine! Dost thou remember Jeames?
I mark thee in the Marble all, Where England's loveliest shine— I say the fairest of them hall Is Lady Hangeline. My soul, in desolate eclipse, With recollection teems— And then I hask, with weeping lips, Dost thou remember Jeames?
Away! I may not tell thee hall This soughring heart endures— There is a lonely sperrit-call That Sorrow never cures; There is a little, little Star, That still above me beams; It is the Star of Hope—but ar! Dost thou remember Jeames?
W. M. Thackeray.
WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock, And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock, And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens, And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence; O it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best, With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest, As he leaves the house, bare-headed, and goes out to feed the stock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
They's something kindo' hearty-like about the atmosphere, When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here— Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees, And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees; But the air's so appetisin'; and the landscape through the haze Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days Is a pictur that no painter has the colorin' to mock— When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
The husky, rusty rustle of the tossels of the corn, And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn; The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still A-preachin' sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill; The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed; The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!— O, it sets my heart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!
James Whitcomb Riley.
There be two men of all mankind That I should like to know about; But search and question where I will, I cannot ever find them out.
Melchizedek he praised the Lord, And gave some wine to Abraham; But who can tell what else he did Must be more learned than I am.
Ucalegon he lost his house When Agamemnon came to Troy; But who can tell me who he was— I'll pray the gods to give him joy.
There be two men of all mankind That I'm forever thinking on; They chase me everywhere I go,— Melchizedek, Ucalegon.
Edwin Arlington Robinson.
A FAMILIAR LETTER TO SEVERAL CORRESPONDENTS
Yes, write if you want to—there's nothing like trying; Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold? I'll show you that rhyming's as easy as lying, If you'll listen to me while the art I unfold.
Here's a book full of words: one can choose as he fancies, As a painter his tint, as a workman his tool; Just think! all the poems and plays and romances Were drawn out of this, like the fish from a pool!
You can wander at will through its syllabled mazes, And take all you want—not a copper they cost; What is there to hinder your picking out phrases For an epic as clever as "Paradise Lost"?
Don't mind if the index of sense is at zero; Use words that run smoothly, whatever they mean; Leander and Lillian and Lillibullero Are much the same thing in the rhyming machine.
There are words so delicious their sweetness will smother That boarding-school flavour of which we're afraid; There is "lush" is a good one and "swirl" is another; Put both in one stanza, its fortune is made.
With musical murmurs and rhythmical closes You can cheat us of smiles when you've nothing to tell; You hand us a nosegay of milliner's roses, And we cry with delight, "Oh, how sweet they do smell!"
Perhaps you will answer all needful conditions For winning the laurels to which you aspire, By docking the tails of the two prepositions I' the style o' the bards you so greatly admire.
As for subjects of verse, they are only too plenty For ringing the changes on metrical chimes; A maiden, a moonbeam, a lover of twenty, Have filled that great basket with bushels of rhymes.
Let me show you a picture—'tis far from irrelevant— By a famous old hand in the arts of design; 'Tis only a photographed sketch of an elephant; The name of the draughtsman was Rembrandt of Rhine.
How easy! no troublesome colours to lay on; It can't have fatigued him, no, not in the least; A dash here and there with a haphazard crayon, And there stands the wrinkled-skinned, baggy-limbed beast.
Just so with your verse—'tis as easy as sketching; You can reel off a song without knitting your brow, As lightly as Rembrandt a drawing or etching; It is nothing at all, if you only know how.
Well, imagine you've printed your volume of verses; Your forehead is wreathed with the garland of fame; Your poem the eloquent school-boy rehearses; Her album the school-girl presents for your name.
Each morning the post brings you autograph letters; You'll answer them promptly—an hour isn't much For the honour of sharing a page with your betters, With magistrates, members of Congress, and such.
Of course you're delighted to serve the committees That come with requests from the country all round; You would grace the occasion with poems and ditties When they've got a new school-house, or poor-house, or pound.
With a hymn for the saints, and a song for the sinners, You go and are welcome wherever you please; You're a privileged guest at all manner of dinners; You've a seat on the platform among the grandees.
At length your mere presence becomes a sensation; Your cup of enjoyment is filled to its brim With the pleasure Horatian of digitmonstration, As the whisper runs round of "That's he!" or "That's him!"
But, remember, O dealer in phrases sonorous, So daintily chosen, so tunefully matched, Though you soar with the wings of the cherubim o'er us, The ovum was human from which you were hatched.
No will of your own, with its puny compulsion, Can summon the spirit that quickens the lyre; It comes, if at all, like the sibyl's convulsion, And touches the brain with a finger of fire.
So, perhaps, after all, it's as well to be quiet, If you've nothing you think is worth saying in prose, As to furnish a meal of their cannibal diet To the critics, by publishing, as you propose.
But it's all of no use, and I'm sorry I've written; I shall see your thin volume some day on my shelf; For the rhyming tarantula surely has bitten, And music must cure you, so pipe it yourself.
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUS
I wrote some lines once on a time In wondrous merry mood, And thought, as usual, men would say They were exceeding good.
They were so queer, so very queer, I laughed as I would die; Albeit, in the general way, A sober man am I.
I called my servant, and he came; How kind it was of him, To mind a slender man like me, He of the mighty limb!
"These to the printer," I exclaimed, And, in my humorous way, I added (as a trifling jest), "There'll be the devil to pay."
He took the paper, and I watched, And saw him peep within; At the first line he read, his face Was all upon a grin.
He read the next, the grin grew broad, And shot from ear to ear; He read the third, a chuckling noise I now began to hear.
The fourth, he broke into a roar; The fifth, his waistband split; The sixth, he burst five buttons off, And tumbled in a fit.
Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye, I watched that wretched man, And since, I never dare to write As funny as I can.
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
SHAKE, MULLEARY AND GO-ETHE
I have a bookcase, which is what Many much better men have not. There are no books inside, for books, I am afraid, might spoil its looks. But I've three busts, all second-hand, Upon the top. You understand I could not put them underneath— Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.
Shake was a dramatist of note; He lived by writing things to quote, He long ago put on his shroud: Some of his works are rather loud. His bald-spot's dusty, I suppose. I know there's dust upon his nose. I'll have to give each nose a sheath— Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.
Mulleary's line was quite the same; He has more hair, but far less fame. I would not from that fame retrench— But he is foreign, being French. Yet high his haughty head he heaves, The only one done up in leaves, They're rather limited on wreath— Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.
Go-ethe wrote in the German tongue: He must have learned it very young. His nose is quite a butt for scoff, Although an inch of it is off. He did quite nicely for the Dutch; But here he doesn't count for much. They all are off their native heath— Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.
They sit there, on their chests, as bland As if they were not second-hand. I do not know of what they think, Nor why they never frown or wink, But why from smiling they refrain I think I clearly can explain: They none of them could show much teeth— Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.
H. C. Bunner.
Man is for woman made, And woman made for man: As the spur is for the jade, As the scabbard for the blade, As for liquor is the can, So man's for woman made, And woman made for man.
As the sceptre to be sway'd, As to night the serenade, As for pudding is the pan, As to cool us is the fan, So man's for woman made, And woman made for man.
Be she widow, wife, or maid, Be she wanton, be she staid, Be she well or ill array'd, So man's for woman made, And woman made for man.
Peter A. Motteux.
The prospect is bare and white, And the air is crisp and chill; While the ebon wings of night Are spread on the distant hill.
The roar of the stormy sea Seem the dirges shrill and sharp That winter plays on the tree— His wild AEolian harp.
In the pool that darkly creeps In ripples before the gale, A star like a lily sleeps And wiggles its silver tail.
R. K. Munkittrick.
My dear young friend, whose shining wit Sets all the room a-blaze, Don't think yourself a "happy dog," For all your merry ways; But learn to wear a sober phiz, Be stupid, if you can, It's such a very serious thing To be a funny man!
You're at an evening party, with A group of pleasant folks,— You venture quietly to crack The least of little jokes,— A lady doesn't catch the point, And begs you to explain— Alas for one that drops a jest And takes it up again!
You're talking deep philosophy With very special force, To edify a clergyman With suitable discourse,— You think you've got him—when he calls A friend across the way, And begs you'll say that funny thing You said the other day!
You drop a pretty jeu-de-mot Into a neighbor's ears, Who likes to give you credit for The clever thing he hears, And so he hawks your jest about, The old authentic one, Just breaking off the point of it, And leaving out the pun!
By sudden change in politics, Or sadder change in Polly, You, lose your love, or loaves, and fall A prey to melancholy, While everybody marvels why Your mirth is under ban,— They think your very grief "a joke," You're such a funny man!
You follow up a stylish card That bids you come and dine, And bring along your freshest wit (To pay for musty wine), You're looking very dismal, when My lady bounces in, And wonders what you're thinking of And why you don't begin!
You're telling to a knot of friends A fancy-tale of woes That cloud your matrimonial sky, And banish all repose— solemn lady overhears The story of your strife, And tells the town the pleasant news: You quarrel with your wife!
My dear young friend, whose shining wit Sets all the room a-blaze, Don't think yourself "a happy dog," For all your merry ways; But learn to wear a sober phiz, Be stupid, if you can, It's such a very serious thing To be a funny man!
John G. Saxe.
"God bless the man who first invented sleep!" So Sancho Panza said, and so say I: And bless him, also, that he didn't keep His great discovery to himself; nor try To make it—as the lucky fellow might— A close monopoly by patent-right!
Yes—bless the man who first invented sleep, (I really can't avoid the iteration;) But blast the man, with curses loud and deep, Whate'er the rascal's name, or age, or station, Who first invented, and went round advising, That artificial cut-off—Early Rising!
"Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed," Observes some solemn, sentimental owl; Maxims like these are very cheaply said; But, ere you make yourself a fool or fowl, Pray just inquire about his rise and fall, And whether larks have any beds at all!
The time for honest folks to be a-bed Is in the morning, if I reason right; And he who cannot keep his precious head Upon his pillow till it's fairly light, And so enjoy his forty morning winks, Is up to knavery; or else—he drinks!
Thompson, who sung about the "Seasons," said It was a glorious thing to rise in season; But then he said it—lying—in his bed, At ten o'clock A.M.,—the very reason He wrote so charmingly. The simple fact is His preaching wasn't sanctioned by his practice.
'Tis, doubtless, well to be sometimes awake,— Awake to duty, and awake to truth,— But when, alas! a nice review we take Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth, The hours that leave the slightest cause to weep Are those we passed in childhood or asleep!
'Tis beautiful to leave the world awhile For the soft visions of the gentle night; And free, at last, from mortal care or guile, To live as only in the angel's sight, In sleep's sweet realm so cosily shut in, Where, at the worst, we only dream of sin!
So let us sleep, and give the Maker praise. I like the lad who, when his father thought To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase Of vagrant worm by early songster caught, Cried, "Served him right!—it's not at all surprising; The worm was punished, sir, for early rising!"
John G. Saxe.
TO THE PLIOCENE SKULL
"Speak, O man less recent! Fragmentary fossil! Primal pioneer of pliocene formation, Hid in lowest drifts below the earliest stratum Of volcanic tufa!
"Older than the beasts, the oldest Palaeotherium; Older than the trees, the oldest Cryptogami; Older than the hills, those infantile eruptions Of earth's epidermis!
"Eo—Mio—Plio—whatsoe'er the 'cene' was That those vacant sockets filled with awe and wonder,— Whether shores Devonian or Silurian beaches,— Tell us thy strange story!
"Or has the professor slightly antedated By some thousand years thy advent on this planet, Giving thee an air that's somewhat better fitted For cold-blooded creatures?
"Wert thou true spectator of that mighty forest When above thy head the stately Sigillaria Reared its columned trunks in that remote and distant Carboniferous epoch?
"Tell us of that scene—the dim and watery woodland, Songless, silent, hushed, with never bird or insect, Veiled with spreading fronds and screened with tall club-mosses, Lycopodiacea,—
"When beside thee walked the solemn Plesiosaurus, And all around thee crept the festive Ichthyosaurus, While from time to time above thee flew and circled Cheerful Pterodactyls;—
"Tell us of thy food,—those half-marine refections, Crinoids on the shell, and Brachipods au naturel,— Cuttle-fish to which the pieuvre of Victor Hugo Seems a periwinkle.
"Speak, thou awful vestige of the Earth's creation— Solitary fragment of remains organic! Tell the wondrous secret of thy past existence— Speak! thou oldest primate!"
Even as I gazed, a thrill of the maxilla, And a lateral movement of the condyloid process, With post-pliocene sounds of healthy mastication, Ground the teeth together.
And, from that imperfect dental exhibition, Stained with expressed juices of the weed Nicotian, Came these hollow accents, blent with softer murmurs Of expectoration:
"Which my name is Bowers, and my crust was busted Falling down a shaft in Calaveras county, But I'd take it kindly if you'd send the pieces Home to old Missouri!"
ODE TO WORK IN SPRINGTIME
Oh, would that working I might shun, From labour my connection sever, That I might do a bit—or none Whatever!
That I might wander over hills, Establish friendship with a daisy, O'er pretty things like daffodils Go crazy!
That I might at the heavens gaze, Concern myself with nothing weighty, Loaf, at a stretch, for seven days— Or eighty.
Why can't I cease a slave to be, And taste existence beatific On some fair island, hid in the Pacific?
Instead of sitting at a desk 'Mid undone labours, grimly lurking— Oh, say, what is there picturesque In working?
But no!—to loaf were misery!— I love to work! Hang isles of coral! (To end this otherwise would be Immoral!)
Thomas R. Ybarra.
If I go to see the play, Of the story I am certain; Promptly it gets under way With the lifting of the curtain. Builded all that's said and done On the ancient recipe— 'Tis the same old Two and One: A and B in love with C.
If I read the latest book, There's the mossy situation; One may confidently look For the trite triangulation. Old as time, but ever new, Seemingly, this tale of Three— Same old yarn of One and Two: A and C in love with B.
If I cast my eyes around, Far and near and middle distance, Still the formula is found In our everyday existence. Everywhere I look I see— Fact or fiction, life or play— Still the little game of Three: B and C in love with A.
While the ancient law fulfills, Myriad moons shall wane and wax. Jack must have his pair of Jills, Jill must have her pair of Jacks.
Bert Leston Taylor.
My temples throb, my pulses boil, I'm sick of Song and Ode and Ballad— So Thyrsis, take the midnight oil, And pour it on a lobster salad.
My brain is dull, my sight is foul, I cannot write a verse, or read— Then Pallas, take away thine Owl, And let us have a Lark instead.
THE LEGEND OF HEINZ VON STEIN
Out rode from his wild, dark castle The terrible Heinz von Stein; He came to the door of a tavern And gazed on its swinging sign.
He sat himself down at a table, And growled for a bottle of wine; Up came with a flask and a corkscrew A maiden of beauty divine.
Then, seized with a deep love-longing, He uttered, "O damosel mine, Suppose you just give a few kisses To the valorous Ritter von Stein!"
But she answered, "The kissing business Is entirely out of my line; And I certainly will not begin it On a countenance ugly as thine!"
Oh, then the bold knight was angry, And cursed both coarse and fine; And asked, "How much is the swindle For your sour and nasty wine?"
And fiercely he rode to the castle And sat himself down to dine; And this is the dreadful legend Of the terrible Heinz von Stein.
Charles Godfrey Leland.
THE TRUTH ABOUT HORACE
It is very aggravating To hear the solemn prating Of the fossils who are stating That old Horace was a prude; When we know that with the ladies He was always raising Hades, And with many an escapade his Best productions are imbued.
There's really not much harm in a Large number of his carmina, But these people find alarm in a Few records of his acts; So they'd squelch the muse caloric, And to students sophomoric They'd present as metaphoric What old Horace meant for facts.
We have always thought 'em lazy; Now we adjudge 'em crazy! Why, Horace was a daisy That was very much alive! And the wisest of us know him As his Lydia verses show him,— Go, read that virile poem,— It is No. 25.
He was a very owl, sir, And starting out to prowl, sir, You bet he made Rome howl, sir, Until he filled his date; With a massic-laden ditty And a classic maiden pretty, He painted up the city, And Maecenas paid the freight!
Celestine Silvousplait Justine de Mouton Rosalie, A coryphee who lived and danced in naughty, gay Paree, Was every bit as pretty as a French girl e'er can be (Which isn't saying much).
Maurice Boulanger (there's a name that would adorn a king), But Morris Baker was the name they called the man I sing. He lived in New York City in the Street that's labeled Spring (Chosen because it rhymed).
Now Baker was a lonesome youth and wanted to be wed, And for a wife, all over town he hunted, it is said; And up and down Fifth Avenue he ofttimes wandered (He was a peripatetic Baker, he was).
And had he met Celestine, not a doubt but Cupid's darts Would in a trice have wounded both of their fond, loving hearts; But he has never left New York to stray in foreign parts (Because he hasn't the price).
And she has never left Paree and so, of course, you see There's not the slightest chance at all she'll marry Morris B. For love to get well started, really needs propinquity (Hence my title).
Charles Battell Loomis.
IN THE CATACOMBS
Sam Brown was a fellow from way down East, Who never was "staggered" in the least. No tale of marvellous beast or bird Could match the stories he had heard; No curious place or wondrous view "Was ekil to Podunk, I tell yu."
If they told him of Italy's sunny clime, "Maine kin beat it, every time!" If they marvelled at AEtna's fount of fire, They roused his ire: With an injured air He'd reply, "I swear I don't think much of a smokin' hill; We've got a moderate little rill Kin make yer old volcaner still; Jes' pour old Kennebec down the crater, 'N' I guess it'll cool her fiery nater!"
They showed him a room where a queen had slept; "'Twan't up to the tavern daddy kept." They showed him Lucerne; but he had drunk From the beautiful Molechunkamunk. They took him at last to ancient Rome, And inveigled him into a catacomb: Here they plied him with draughts of wine, Though he vowed old cider was twice as fine, Till the fumes of Falernian filled his head, And he slept as sound as the silent dead; They removed a mummy to make him room, And laid him at length in the rocky tomb.
They piled old skeletons round the stone, Set a "dip" in a candlestick of bone, And left him to slumber there alone; Then watched from a distance the taper's gleam, Waiting to jeer at his frightened scream, When he should wake from his drunken dream.
After a time the Yankee woke, But instantly saw through the flimsy joke; So never a cry or shout he uttered, But solemnly rose, and slowly muttered: "I see how it is. It's the judgment day, We've all been dead and stowed away; All these stone furreners sleepin' yet, An' I'm the fust one up, you bet! Can't none o' you Romans start, I wonder? United States ahead, by thunder!"
Harlan Hoge Ballard.
OUR NATIVE BIRDS
Alone I sit at eventide; The twilight glory pales, And o'er the meadows far and wide I hear the bobolinks— (We have no nightingales!)
Song-sparrows warble on the tree, I hear the purling brook, And from the old manse on the lea Flies slow the cawing crow— (In England 'twere a rook!)
The last faint golden beams of day Still glow on cottage panes, And on their lingering homeward way Walk weary laboring men— (Alas! we have no swains!)
From farmyards, down fair rural glades Come sounds of tinkling bells, And songs of merry brown milkmaids Sweeter than catbird's strains— (I should say Philomel's!)
I could sit here till morning came, All through the night hours dark, Until I saw the sun's bright flame And heard the oriole— (Alas! we have no lark!)
We have no leas, no larks, no rooks, No swains, no nightingales, No singing milkmaids (save in books) The poet does his best:— It is the rhyme that fails.
Nathan Haskell Dole.
THE PRAYER OF CYRUS BROWN
"The proper way for a man to pray," Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes, "And the only proper attitude Is down upon his knees."
"No, I should say the way to pray," Said Rev. Doctor Wise, "Is standing straight with outstretched arms And rapt and upturned eyes."
"Oh, no; no, no," said Elder Slow, "Such posture is too proud: A man should pray with eyes fast closed And head contritely bowed."
"It seems to me his hands should be Austerely clasped in front. With both thumbs pointing toward the ground," Said Rev. Doctor Blunt.
"Las' year I fell in Hodgkin's well Head first," said Cyrus Brown, "With both my heels a-stickin' up, My head a-pinting down;
"An' I made a prayer right then an' there— Best prayer I ever said, The prayingest prayer I ever prayed, A-standing on my head."
Sam Walter Foss.
ERRING IN COMPANY
"If I have erred, I err in company with Abraham Lincoln." —Theodore Roosevelt.
If e'er my rhyming be at fault, If e'er I chance to scribble dope, If that my metre ever halt, I err in company with Pope.
An that my grammar go awry, An that my English be askew, Sooth, I can prove an alibi— The Bard of Avon did it too.
If often toward the bottled grape My errant fancy fondly turns, Remember, leering jackanape, I err in company with Burns.
If now and then I sigh "Mine own!" Unto another's wedded wife, Remember, I am not alone— Hast ever read Lord Byron's Life?
If frequently I fret and fume, And absolutely will not smile, I err in company with Hume, Old Socrates and T. Carlyle.
If e'er I fail in etiquette, And foozle on The Proper Stuff Regarding manners, don't forget A. Tennyson's were pretty tough.
Eke if I err upon the side Of talking overmuch of Me, I err, it cannot be denied, In most illustrious company.
Franklin P. Adams.
Why was Cupid a boy, And why a boy was he? He should have been a girl, For aught that I can see.
For he shoots with his bow, And the girl shoots with her eye; And they both are merry and glad, And laugh when we do cry.
Then to make Cupid a boy Was surely a woman's plan, For a boy never learns so much Till he has become a man.
And then he's so pierced with cares, And wounded with arrowy smarts, That the whole business of his life Is to pick out the heads of the darts.
IF WE DIDN'T HAVE TO EAT
Life would be an easy matter If we didn't have to eat. If we never had to utter, "Won't you pass the bread and butter, Likewise push along that platter Full of meat?" Yes, if food were obsolete Life would be a jolly treat, If we didn't—shine or shower, Old or young, 'bout every hour— Have to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat— 'Twould be jolly if we didn't have to eat.
We could save a lot of money If we didn't have to eat. Could we cease our busy buying, Baking, broiling, brewing, frying, Life would then be oh, so sunny And complete; And we wouldn't fear to greet Every grocer in the street If we didn't—man and woman, Every hungry, helpless human— Have to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat— We'd save money if we didn't have to eat.
All our worry would be over If we didn't have to eat. Would the butcher, baker, grocer Get our hard-earned dollars? No, Sir! We would then be right in clover Cool and sweet. Want and hunger we could cheat, And we'd get there with both feet, If we didn't—poor or wealthy, Halt or nimble, sick or healthy— Have to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, We could get there if we didn't have to eat.
TO MY EMPTY PURSE
To you, my purse, and to none other wight, Complain I, for ye be my lady dere; I am sorry now that ye be light, For, certes, ye now make me heavy chere; Me were as lefe be laid upon a bere, For which unto your mercy thus I crie, Be heavy againe, or els mote I die.
Now vouchsafe this day or it be night, That I of you the blissful sowne may here, Or see your color like the sunne bright, That of yellowness had never pere; Ye are my life, ye be my hertes stere, Queen of comfort and of good companie, Be heavy againe, or els mote I die.
Now purse, thou art to me my lives light, And saviour, as downe in this world here, Out of this towne helpe me by your might, Sith that you will not be my treasure, For I am slave as nere as any frere, But I pray unto your curtesie, Be heavy againe, or els mote I die.
THE BIRTH OF SAINT PATRICK
On the eighth day of March it was, some people say, That Saint Pathrick at midnight he first saw the day; While others declare 'twas the ninth he was born, And 'twas all a mistake between midnight and morn; For mistakes will occur in a hurry and shock, And some blam'd the baby—and some blam'd the clock— Till with all their cross-questions sure no one could know, If the child was too fast—or the clock was too slow.
Now the first faction fight in ould Ireland, they say, Was all on account of Saint Pathrick's birthday, Some fought for the eighth—for the ninth more would die. And who wouldn't see right, sure they blacken'd his eye! At last, both the factions so positive grew, That each kept a birthday, so Pat then had two, Till Father Mulcahy, who showed them their sins, Said, "No one could have two birthdays but a twins."
Says he, "Boys, don't be fightin' for eight or for nine, Don't be always dividin'—but sometimes combine; Combine eight with nine, and seventeen is the mark, So let that be his birthday."—"Amen," says the clerk. "If he wasn't a twins, sure our hist'ry will show— That, at least, he's worth any two saints that we know!" Then they all got blind dhrunk—which complated their bliss, And we keep up the practice from that day to this.
HER LITTLE FEET
Her little feet!... Beneath us ranged the sea, She sat, from sun and wind umbrella-shaded, One shoe above the other danglingly, And lo! a Something exquisitely graded, Brown rings and white, distracting—to the knee!
The band was loud. A wild waltz melody Flowed rhythmic forth. The nobodies paraded. And thro' my dream went pulsing fast and free: Her little feet.
Till she made room for some one. It was He! A port-wine flavored He, a He who traded, Rich, rosy, round, obese to a degree! A sense of injury overmastered me. Quite bulbously his ample boots upbraided Her little feet.
William Ernest Henley.
If there is a vile, pernicious, Wicked and degraded rule, Tending to debase the vicious, And corrupt the harmless fool; If there is a hateful habit Making man a senseless tool, With the feelings of a rabbit And the wisdom of a mule; It's the rule which inculcates, It's the habit which dictates The wrong and sinful practice of going into school.
If there's anything improving To an erring sinner's state, Which is useful in removing All the ills of human fate; If there's any glorious custom Which our faults can dissipate, And can casually thrust 'em Out of sight and make us great; It's the plan by which we shirk Half our matu-ti-nal work, The glorious institution of always being late.
James Kenneth Stephen.
TO R. K.
As long I dwell on some stupendous And tremendous (Heaven defend us!) Monstr'-inform'-ingens-horrendous Demoniaco-seraphic Penman's latest piece of graphic. Robert Browning .
Will there never come a season Which shall rid us from the curse Of a prose which knows no reason And an unmelodious verse: When the world shall cease to wonder At the genius of an Ass, And a boy's eccentric blunder Shall not bring success to pass:
When mankind shall be delivered From the clash of magazines, And the inkstand shall be shivered Into countless smithereens: When there stands a muzzled stripling, Mute, beside a muzzled bore: When the Rudyards cease from Kipling And the Haggards Ride no more?
James Kenneth Stephen.
A speech , both pithy and concise, Marks a mind acute and wise; What speech, my friend, say, do you know, Can stand before "Exactly so?"
I have a dear and witty friend Who turns this phrase to every end; None can deny that "Yes" or "No" Is meant in this "Exactly so."
Or when a bore his ear assails, Good-humour in his bosom fails, No response from his lips will flow, Save, now and then, "Exactly so."
Is there remark on matters grave That he may wish perchance to waive, Or thinks perhaps is rather slow, He stops it by "Exactly so."
It saves the trouble of a thought— No sour dispute can thence be sought; It leaves the thing in statu quo, This beautiful "Exactly so."
It has another charm, this phrase, For it implies the speaker's praise Of what has just been said—ergo— It pleases, this "Exactly so."
Nor need the conscience feel distress, By answ'ring wrongly "No" or "Yes;" It 'scapes a falsehood, which is low, And substitutes "Exactly so."
Each mortal loves to think he's right, That his opinion, too, is bright; Then, Christian, you may soothe your foe By chiming in "Exactly so."
Whoe'er these lines may chance peruse, Of this famed word will see the use, And mention where'er he may go, The praises of "Exactly so."
Of this more could my muse relate, But you, kind reader, I'll not sate; For if I did you'd cry "Hallo! I've heard enough"—"Exactly so."
Lady T. Hastings.
A TALE OF A GRANDFATHER
I know not of what we ponder'd Or made pretty pretence to talk, As, her hand within mine, we wander'd Tow'rd the pool by the lime-tree walk, While the dew fell in showers from the passion flowers And the blush-rose bent on her stalk.
I cannot recall her figure: Was it regal as Juno's own? Or only a trifle bigger Than the elves who surround the throne Of the Faery Queen, and are seen, I ween, By mortals in dreams alone?
What her eyes were like, I know not: Perhaps they were blurr'd with tears; And perhaps in your skies there glow not (On the contrary) clearer spheres. No! as to her eyes I am just as wise As you or the cat, my dears.
Her teeth, I presume, were "pearly": But which was she, brunette or blonde? Her hair, was it quaintly curly, Or as straight as a beadle's wand? That I fail'd to remark;—it was rather dark And shadowy round the pond.
Then the hand that reposed so snugly In mine,—was it plump or spare? Was the countenance fair or ugly? Nay, children, you have me there! My eyes were p'r'aps blurr'd; and besides I'd heard That it's horribly rude to stare.
And I—was I brusque and surly? Or oppressively bland and fond? Was I partial to rising early? Or why did we twain abscond, All breakfastless, too, from the public view, To prowl by a misty pond?
What pass'd, what was felt or spoken— Whether anything pass'd at all— And whether the heart was broken That beat under that shelt'ring shawl— (If shawl she had on, which I doubt)—has gone, Yes, gone from me past recall.
Was I haply the lady's suitor? Or her uncle? I can't make out— Ask your governess, dears, or tutor. For myself, I'm in hopeless doubt As to why we were there, who on earth we were, And, what this is all about.
Charles Stuart Calverley.
ABROAD WITH HIS SON
O what harper could worthily harp it, Mine Edward! this wide-stretching wold (Look out wold) with its wonderful carpet Of emerald, purple and gold! Look well at it—also look sharp, it Is getting so cold.
The purple is heather (erica); The yellow, gorse—call'd sometimes "whin." Cruel boys on its prickles might spike a Green beetle as if on a pin. You may roll in it, if you would like a Few holes in your skin.
You wouldn't? Then think of how kind you Should be to the insects who crave Your compassion—and then, look behind you At yon barley-ears! Don't they look brave As they undulate—(undulate, mind you, From unda, a wave).
The noise of those sheep-bells, how faint it Sounds here—(on account of our height)! And this hillock itself—who could paint it, With its changes of shadow and light? Is it not—(never, Eddy, say "ain't it")— A marvelous sight?
Then yon desolate eerie morasses. The haunts of the snipe and the hern— (I shall question the two upper classes On aquatiles, when we return)— Why, I see on them absolute masses Of filix or fern.
How it interests e'en a beginner (Or tiro) like dear little Ned! Is he listening? As I am a sinner He's asleep—he is wagging his head. Wake up! I'll go home to my dinner, And you to your bed.
The boundless ineffable prairie; The splendor of mountain and lake With their hues that seem ever to vary; The mighty pine forests which shake In the wind, and in which the unwary May tread on a snake;
And this wold with its heathery garment— Are themes undeniably great. But—although there is not any harm in't— It's perhaps little good to dilate On their charms to a dull little varmint Of seven or eight.
Charles Stuart Calverley.
A APPEAL FOR ARE TO THE SEXTANT OF THE OLD BRICK MEETINOUSE
BY A GASPER
The sextant of the meetinouse, which sweeps And dusts, or is supposed too! and makes fiers, And lites the gas and sometimes leaves a screw loose, in which case it smells orful—worse than lampile; And wrings the Bel and toles it when men dyes to the grief of survivin pardners, and sweeps pathes; And for the servases gits $100 per annum, Which them that thinks deer, let em try it; Getting up be foar star-lite in all weathers and Kindlin-fires when the wether it is cold As zero, and like as not green wood for kindlers; I wouldn't be hired to do it for no some— But o sextant! there are 1 kermoddity Which's more than gold, wich doant cost nothin, Worth more than anything exsep the Sole of Man. i mean pewer Are, sextent, i mean pewer are! O it is plenty out o dores, so plenty it doant no What on airth to dew with itself, but flys about Scaterin levs and bloin of men's hatts; in short, jest "fre as are" out dores. But o sextant, in our church its scarce as piety, scarce as bank bills wen agints beg for mischuns, Wich some say purty often (taint nothin to me, Wat I give aint nothin to nobody), but o sextant, u shut 500 mens wimmen and children, Speshally the latter, up in a tite place, Some has bad breths, none aint 2 swete, some is fevery, some is scrofilus, some has bad teeth, And some haint none, and some aint over clean; But every 1 on em breethes in and out and out and in, Say 50 times a minit, or 1 million and a half breths an our, Now how long will a church ful of are last at that rate, I ask you, say 15 minutes, and then wats to be did? Why then they must brethe it all over agin. And then agin, and so on, till each has took it down, At least ten times, and let it up again, and wats more The same individible don't have the privilege of brethen his own are, and no one's else; Each one mus take whatever comes to him, O sextant, don't you know our lungs is bellusses, To blo the fier of life, and keep it from goin out; and how can bellusses blow without wind, And aint wind are? i put it to your conscens. Are is the same to us as milk to babes, Or water to fish, or pendlums to clox— Or roots and airbs unto an injun Doctor, Or little pils to an omepath, Or boys to gurls. Are is for us to brethe, Wat signifies who preeches if i cant brethe? Wats Pol? Wats Pollus? to sinners who are ded? Ded for want of breth? why sextant, when we die Its only coz we cant brethe no more—that's all. And now, O sextant, let me beg of you 2 let a little are into our church. (Pewer are is sertin proper for the pews) And do it weak days and Sundays tew— It aint much trouble—only make a hole And the are will come in itself; (It luvs to come in whare it can git warm): And o how it will rouse the people up And sperrit up the preacher, and stop garbs, And yawns and figgits as effectooal As wind on the dry Boans the Profit tells of.
WHICH ARE A GROWING MENACE TO THE PUBLIC
Do not worry if I scurry from the grill room in a hurry, Dropping hastily my curry and retiring into balk; Do not let it cause you wonder if, by some mischance or blunder, We encounter on the Underground and I get out and walk.
If I double as a cub'll when you meet him in the stubble, Do not think I am in trouble or attempt to make a fuss; Do not judge me melancholy or attribute it to folly If I leave the Metropolitan and travel 'n a bus.
Do not quiet your anxiety by giving me a diet, Or by base resort to vi et armis fold me to your arms, And let no suspicious tremor violate your wonted phlegm or Any fear that Harold's memory is faithless to your charms.
For my passion as I dash on in that disconcerting fashion Is as ardently irrational as when we forged the link When you gave your little hand away to me, my own Amanda As we sat 'n the veranda till the stars began to wink.
And I am in such a famine when your beauty I examine That it lures me as the jam invites a hungry little brat; But I fancy that, at any rate, I'd rather waste a penny Then be spitted by the many pins that bristle from your hat.
A PLEA FOR TRIGAMY
I've been trying to fashion a wifely ideal, And find that my tastes are so far from concise That, to marry completely, no fewer than three'll Suffice
I've subjected my views to severe atmospheric Compression, but still, in defiance of force, They distinctly fall under three heads, like a cleric Discourse.
My first must be fashion's own fancy-bred daughter, Proud, peerless, and perfect—in fact, comme il faut; A waltzer and wit of the very first water— For show.
But these beauties that serve to make all the men jealous, Once face them alone in the family cot, Heaven's angels incarnate (the novelists tell us) They're not.
But so much for appearances. Now for my second, My lover, the wife of my home and my heart: Of all fortune and fate of my life to be reckon'd A part.
She must know all the needs of a rational being, Be skilled to keep counsel, to comfort, to coax; And, above all things else, be accomplished at seeing My jokes.
I complete the menage by including the other With all the domestic prestige of a hen: As my housekeeper, nurse, or it may be, a mother Of men.
Total three! and the virtues all well represented; With fewer than this such a thing can't be done; Though I've known married men who declare they're contented With one.
Would you hunt during harvest, or hay-make in winter? And how can one woman expect to combine Certain qualifications essentially inter- necine?
You may say that my prospects are (legally) sunless; I state that I find them as clear as can be:— I will marry no wife, since I can't do with one less Than three.
The Pope he leads a happy life, He fears not married care nor strife. He drinks the best of Rhenish wine,— I would the Pope's gay lot were mine.
But yet all happy's not his life, He has no maid, nor blooming wife; No child has he to raise his hope,— I would not wish to be the Pope.
The Sultan better pleases me, His is a life of jollity; He's wives as many as he will,— I would the Sultan's throne then fill.
But even he's a wretched man, He must obey the Alcoran; He dare not drink one drop of wine— I would not change his lot for mine.
So here I'll take my lowly stand, I'll drink my own, my native land; I'll kiss my maiden fair and fine, And drink the best of Rhenish wine.
And when my maiden kisses me I'll think that I the Sultan be; And when my cheery glass I tope, I'll fancy then I am the Pope.
ALL AT SEA
THE VOYAGE OF A CERTAIN UNCERTAIN SAILORMAN
I saw a certain sailorman who sat beside the sea, And in the manner of his tribe he yawned this yarn to me: "'Twere back in eighteen-fifty-three, or mebbe fifty-four, I skipped the farm,—no, 't were the shop,—an' went to Baltimore. I shipped aboard the Lizzie—or she might ha' bin the Jane; Them wimmin names are mixey, so I don't remember plain; But anyhow, she were a craft that carried schooner rig, (Although Sam Swab, the bo'sun, allus swore she were a brig); We sailed away from Salem Town,—no, lemme think;—'t were Lynn,— An' steered a course for Africa (or Greece, it might ha' bin); But anyway, we tacked an' backed an' weathered many a storm— Oh, no,—as I recall it now, that week was fine an' warm! Who did I say the cap'n was? I didn't say at all? Wa-a-ll now, his name were 'Lijah Bell—or was it Eli Ball? I kinder guess 't were Eli. He'd a big, red, bushy beard— No-o-o, come to think, he allus kept his whiskers nicely sheared.
But anyhow, that voyage was the first I'd ever took, An' all I had to do was cut up cabbage for the cook; But come to talk o' cabbage just reminds me,—that there trip Would prob'ly be my third one, on a Hong Kong clipper-ship.
The crew they were a jolly lot, an' used to sing 'Avast,' I think it were, or else 'Ahoy,' while bailing out the mast. And as I recollect it now,—" But here I cut him short, And said: "It's time to tack again, and bring your wits to port; I came to get a story both adventurous and true, And here is how I started out to write the interview: 'I saw a certain sailorman,' but you turn out to be The most un-certain sailorman that ever sailed the sea!" He puffed his pipe, and answered, "Wa-a-ll, I thought 'twere mine, but still, I must ha' told the one belongs to my twin brother Bill!"
BALLAD OF THE PRIMITIVE JEST
I am an ancient Jest! Paleolithic man In his arboreal nest The sparks of fun would fan; My outline did he plan, And laughed like one possessed, 'Twas thus my course began, I am a Merry Jest.
I am an early Jest! Man delved and built and span; Then wandered South and West The peoples Aryan, I journeyed in their van; The Semites, too, confessed,— From Beersheba to Dan,— I am a Merry Jest.
I am an ancient Jest, Through all the human clan, Red, black, white, free, oppressed, Hilarious I ran! I'm found in Lucian, In Poggio, and the rest, I'm dear to Moll and Nan! I am a Merry Jest!
Prince, you may storm and ban— Joe Millers are a pest, Suppress me if you can! I am a Merry Jest!
VILLANELLE OF THINGS AMUSING
These are the things that make me laugh— Life's a preposterous farce, say I! And I've missed of too many jokes by half.
The high-heeled antics of colt and calf, The men who think they can act, and try— These are the things that make me laugh.
The hard-boiled poses in photograph, The groom still wearing his wedding tie— And I've missed of too many jokes by half!
These are the bubbles I gayly quaff With the rank conceit of the new-born fly— These are the things that make me laugh!
For, Heaven help me! I needs must chaff, And people will tickle me till I die— And I've missed of too many jokes by half!
So write me down in my epitaph As one too fond of his health to cry— These are the things that make me laugh, And I've missed of too many jokes by half!
HOW TO EAT WATERMELONS
When you slice a Georgy melon you mus' know what you is at An' look out how de knife is gwine in. Put one-half on dis side er you—de yuther half on dat, En' den you gits betwixt 'em, en begin! Oh, melons! Honey good ter see; But we'en it comes ter sweetness, De melon make fer me! En den you puts yo' knife up, en you sorter licks de blade, En never stop fer sayin' any grace; But eat ontell you satisfy—roll over in de shade, En sleep ontell de sun shine in yo' face! Oh, melons! Honey good ter see; But we'en it comes ter sweetness, De melon make fer me!