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Quoth: "What is our life but a dream of pride ? Destruction stalks forth on every side,
And if my wife should know!
" What matters it all if I can maintain
My right to reap and sow? To gather what I have planted in pain ?” Here he paused, and murmured the same refrain :
“ But--if my wife should know!"
I passed next morning, and under the trees
I saw the parson stand, Amid rustle of leaves and hum of bees, 'Mid glint of flowers, yet brighter than hese,
His look serene and bland.
But what saw I in the shrubbery there,
That filled me with affright-
As if to mock the sight?
Three ghastly skeletons stood in a row,
To guard the berry patch;
Three skeletons brought from a closet down,
Where they had lived at ease;
Naught had they seen like these.
The parson stood by his strawberry bed,
His wife came strolling down, The berries were large and ripe and red. “Dear, your hoops have saved the berries," he said;
“Buy new ones in the town."
THE BALLAD OF A BUTOHER.
It was the hour of nine.
The children going by the school
Looked in at the open door;
And hear its awful roar.
The butcher he looked out and in,
Then horribly he swore ;
Quoth he: "Life's an awful bore!"
“ Now here's all these dear little children,
Some on 'em might live to be sixty;
An' chop 'em up slipperty licksty ?"
“Oh, don't ye's want some candy ? But ye see ye'll have to come into the shop,
For out here it isn't handy!"
He 'ticed them into the little shop,
The machine went round and round,
They fetched ten cents a pound.
DREAM OF A SPELLING BEE.
Where jaguar plalanx and phlegmatic gou
With peewit and precocious cockatoo.
Gaunt seneschals in crotchety cockades,
With seine net trawl for porpoise in lagoons, While scullions gauge erratic escapades
Of madrepores in water-logged galoons.
Flamboyant triptychs groined with gherkins green,
In reckless fracas with cognettish brcam, Ecstatic gargoyles, with grotesque chagrin,
Garnish the gruesome nightmare of my dream.
BITUMEN. In the lush limes, when oil wells were the theme
Whereon all enterprising minds were dwellingi. And every speculator's fondest dream Saw great Petroleum's aromatic stream The fat of nature's broth, plutonic cream
Spontaneously from his own well upwelling,
Assembled in an upper chamber spacious,
By any one sufficiently sagacious;
Being already promisingly started."
We paid our money and we took our stock,
'Twas not possessing riches great or small
That fixed the due proportion each one bore.
On them all burdens do most lightly fall,
Why need I here repeat the old, old story?
We never saw again our cherished pelf; The hearer will have guessed so à priori,
And very likely knows how 'tis himself. When the whole enterprise had gone to pot, ...
Onee more we stockholders convened a meeting In the same sadly well remembered spot- . We came to see where all our wealth was not,
And to the rest one then and there gave greeting : “We poor outsiders do not feel so sore (Although we're neither more nor less than human)
At having sacrificed our little store,
Have been deceived in spite of your acumen;
Although it has no oil it has bit-you-men."
POMP AND I. Pomp lies in one chair, I in another. (Pomp's a black cat, I'm his brother.)
There we lie blinkin' in the sun,
What d' you 'spose we're thinkin' 'bout ?
I'm so glad I'm nothing but a cat.
Fat and lazy all day long,
All I can say is, I'm happy as a cat.
THE MONKEY TO THE POLYP. Evolved from thee, forsooth, thou thing! Thou pulpy nondescript, with no sure place In either kingdom. Who the faintest trace, Perceives of future power and Simian grace
In thee, small polyp?
The (so-called) wise affirm.
Where India's temples rise.
'Tis ducks ve surely hear.
To frisk no more.