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Title: More Misrepresentative Men
Author: Graham, Harry, 1874-1936
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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    MORE MISREPRESENTATIVE MEN

    By HARRY GRAHAM


    _Author of
    "Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes,"
    "Misrepresentative Men,"
    "Ballads of the Boer War,"
    "Verse and Worse," etc., etc._

    PICTURES BY
    MALCOLM STRAUSS


    NEW YORK
    FOX, DUFFIELD & COMPANY
    MCMV

    COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY
    FOX, DUFFIELD & COMPANY

    Published in September, 1905

    To
    E. B.



    _Contents_


    AUTHOR'S FOREWORD

    PUBLISHER'S PREFACE

    ROBERT BURNS

    WILLIAM WALDORF ASTOR

    HENRY VIII

    ALTON B. PARKER

    EUCLID

    J. M. BARRIE

    OMAR KHAYYAM

    ANDREW CARNEGIE

    KING COPHETUA

    JOSEPH F. SMITH

    SHERLOCK HOLMES

    AFTWORD



_Authors Foreword_

(_To the Publisher_)


    When honest men are all in bed,
        We poets at our desks are toiling,
    To earn a modicum of bread,
            And keep the pot a-boiling;
    We weld together, bit by bit,
    The fabric of our laboured wit.

    We see with eyes of frank dismay
      The coming of this Autumn season,
    When bards are driven to display
        Their feast of rhyme and reason;
    With hectic brain and loosened collar,
    We chase the too-elusive dollar.

    While Publishers, in search of grist,
      Despise our masterly inaction,
    And shake their faces in our fist,
          Demanding satisfaction,
    We view with vague or vacant mind
    The grim agreements we have signed.

    For though a willing public gives
      Its timely share of cash assistance,
    The author (like the dentist) lives
          A hand-to-mouth existence;
    And Publishers, those modern Circes,
    Make pig's-ear purses of his verses.

    Behold! How ill, how thin and pale,
      The features of the furtive jester!
    Compelled by contracts to curtail
                His moments of siesta!
    A true White Knight is he to-day
    (_Nuit Blanche_, as Stevenson would say).

    Ah, surely he has laboured well,
      Constructing this immortal sequel,--
    A work which no one could excel,
              And very few can equal,--
    A volume which, I dare to say,
    Is epoch-making, in its way.

    When other poets' work is not,
      These verses shall retain their label;
    When Herford is a thing forgot,
              And Ade an ancient fable;
    When Goops no longer give a sign
    Of Burgess's empurpled kine.

    My Publishers, I love you so!
      Your well-secreted virtues viewing;
    Who never let your right hand know
          Whom your left hand is doing;
    Who hold me firmly in your grip,
    And crack your cheque-book, like a whip!

    My Publishers, make no mistake,
      You have in me an _avis rara_,
    So write a princely cheque, and make
              It payable to bearer;
    I love you, as I said before,
    But oh! I love your money more!



_Publisher's Preface_

(_To the Author_)


    Voracious Author, gorged with gold,
      Your grasping greed shall not avail!
    In vain you venture to unfold
              Your false prehensile tale!
    I view in scorn (unmixed with awe)
    The width of your capacious maw.

    On me the onus has to fall
      Of your malevolent effusions;
    'Tis I who bear the brunt of all
            Your libellous allusions;
    To bolster up your turgid verse,
    I jeopardise my very purse!

    You do not hesitate to fleece
      The Publisher you scorn to thank,
    And when you manage to decrease
              His balance at the bank,
    Your face is lighted up with greed,
    And you are lantern-jawed indeed!

    Yet will I still heap coals of fire,
      Until your coiffure is imbedded,
    And you at last, perchance, shall tire
          Of growing so hot-headed,
    And realise that being funny
    Is not a mere affair of money.

    And so, in honour of your pow'rs,
      A fragrant bouquet will I pick,
    Of rare exotics, blossoms, flow'rs
              Of speech and rhetoric;
    I'll add a thistle, if I may,
    And, round the whole, a wreath of bay.

    The blossoms for your button-hole,
      To mark your affluent condition,
    Exotics to inspire your soul
              To further composition.
    Come, set the bays upon your brow!
       *       *       *       *       *
    Well, eat the thistle, anyhow!



_Robert Burns_


    The jingling rhymes of Dr. Watts
      Excite the reader's just impatience,
    He wearies of Sir Walter Scott's
      Melodious verbal collocations,
    And with advancing years he learns
    To love the simpler style of Burns.

    Too much the careworn critic knows
      Of that obscure robustious diction,
    Which like a form of fungus grows
      Amid the Kailyard school of fiction;
    In Crockett's cryptic caves one sighs
    For Burns's clear and spacious skies.

    Tho' no aspersions need be cast
      On Barrie's wealth of wit fantastic,
    Creator of that unsurpass'd
      If most minute ecclesiastic;
    Yet even here the eye discerns
    No master-hand like that of Burns.

    The works of Campbell and the rest
      Exhale a sanctimonious odour,
    Their vintage is but Schnapps, at best,
      Their Scotch is simply Scotch-and-sodour!
    They cannot hope, like Burns, to win
    That "touch which makes the whole world kin."

    Tho' some may sing of Neil Munro,
      And virtues in Maclaren see,
    Or want but little here below,
      And want that little Lang, maybe;
    Each renegade at length returns,
    To praise the peerless pow'rs of Burns.

    His verse, as all the world declares,
      And Tennyson himself confesses,
    The radiance of the dewdrop shares,
      The berry's perfect shape possesses;
    And even William Wordsworth praises
    The magic of his faultless phrases.

    But he, whose books bedeck our shelves,
      Whose lofty genius we adore so,
    Was only human, like ourselves,--
      Perhaps, indeed, a trifle more so!
    And joined a thirst that nought could quench
    To morals which were frankly French.

    And ev'ry night he made his way,
      With boon companions, bent on frolic,
    To inns of ill-repute, where lay
      Refreshments--chiefly alcoholic!
    (But I decline to raise your gorges,
    Describing these nocturnal orgies.)

    Of love-affairs he knew no end,
      So long and ardently he flirted,
    And e'en the least suspicious friend
      Would feel a trifle disconcerted,
    When Burns was sitting with his "_sposa_,"
    "As thick as thieves on Vallombrosa!"

    A Cockney Chiel who found him thus,
      And showed some conjugal alarm,
    When Burns implored him not to fuss,
      Enquiring calmly, "Where's the harm?"
    Replied at once, with perfect taste,
    "The _h_arm is round my consort's waist!"

    "A poor thing but my own," said he,
      His fair but fickle bride denoting,
    And she, with scathing repartee,
      Assented, wilfully misquoting,
    (Tho' carefully brought up, like Jonah),
    "A poorer thing--and yet my owner!"

    The most bucolic hearts were burnt
      By Burns' amatory glances;
    The most suburban spinsters learnt
      To welcome his abrupt advances;
    When Burns was on his knee, 'twas said,
    They wished that _they_ were there instead!

    They loved him from the first, in spite
      Of angry parents' interference;
    They deemed his courtship so polite,
      So captivating his appearance;
    So great his charm, so apt his wit,
    In local parlance, Burns was IT!

    The rustic maids from far and wide,
      Encouraged his unwise flirtations;
    For love of Burns they moped and sighed,
      And, while their nearest male relations
    Were up in arms, the sad thing is
    That they themselves were up in his!

    His crest a mug, with open lid,
      The kind in vogue with ancient Druids,--
    Inscribed "Amari Aliquid,"
      (Which means "I'm very fond of fluids!"),
    On either side, as meet supporters,
    The village blacksmith's lovely daughters.

    "Men were deceivers ever!" True,
      As Shakespeare says (Hey Nonny! Nonny!),
    But one should always keep in view
      That "_tout comprendr' c'est tout pardonny_";
    In judging poets it suffices
    To scan their verses, not their vices.
       .      .      .      .      .      .
    The poets of the present time
      Attempt their feeble imitations;
    Are economical of rhyme,
      And lavish with reiterations;
    The while a patient public swallows
    A "Border Ballad" much as follows:--

    _Jamie lad, I lo'e ye weel,
    Jamie lad, I lo'e nae ither,
    Jamie lad, I lo'e ye weel,
                  Like a mither._

    _Jamie's ganging doon the burn,
    Jamie's ganging doon, whateffer,
    Jamie's ganging doon the burn,
                  To Strathpeffer!_

    _Jamie's comin' hame to dee,
    Jamie's comin' hame, I'm thinkin',
    Jamie's comin' hame to dee,
                  Dee o' drinkin'!_

    _Hech! Jamie! Losh! Jamie!
      Dinna greet sae sair!
    Gin ye canna, winna, shanna
      See yer lassie mair!
              Wha' hoo!
              Wha' hae!
            Strathpeffer!_

    I give you now, as antidote,
      Some lines which I myself indited.
    Carnegie, when he read them, wrote
      To say that he was quite delighted;
    Their pathos cut him to the quick,
    Their humour almost made him sick.

    _The queys are moopin' i' the mirk,
    An' gin ye thole ahin' the kirk,
    I'll gar ye tocher hame fra' work,
        Sae straught an' primsie;
    In vain the lavrock leaves the snaw,
    The sonsie cowslips blithely blaw,
    The elbucks wheep adoon the shaw,
        Or warl a whimsy.
    The cootie muircocks crousely craw,
    The maukins tak' their fud fu' braw,
    I gie their wames a random paw,
          For a' they're skilpy;
    For wha' sae glaikit, gleg an' din,
    To but the ben, or loup the linn,
    Or scraw aboon the tirlin'-pin
          Sae frae an' gilpie?_

    _Och, snood the sporran roun' ma lap,
    The cairngorm clap in ilka cap,
            Och, hand me o'er
            Ma lang claymore,
    Twa, bannocks an' a bap,
          Wha hoo!
    Twa bannocks an' a bap!_
       .      .      .      .      .      .
    O fellow Scotsman, near and far,
      Renowned for health and good digestion,
    For all that makes you what you are,--
      (But are you really? That's the question)--
    Be grateful, while the world endures,
    That Burns was countryman of yours.

    And hand-in-hand, in alien land,
      Foregather with your fellow cronies,
    To masticate the haggis (cann'd)
      At Scottish Conversaziones,
    Where, flushed with wine and Auld Lang Syne,
    You worship at your country's shrine!



_William Waldorf Astor_


    How blest a thing it is to die
      For Country's sake, as bards have sung!
    How sweet "pro patria mori,"
      (To quote the vulgar Latin tongue);
    And yet to him the palm we give
    Who for his fatherland can _live_.

    Historians have explained to us,
      In terms that never can grow cold,
    How well the bold Horatius
      Played bridge in the brave days of old;
    And we can read of hosts of others,
    From Spartan boys to Roman mothers.

    But nowhere has the student got,
      From poet, pedagogue, or pastor,
    The picture of a patriot
      So truly typical as Astor;
    And none has ever shown a greater
    Affection for his Alma Mater.

    With loyalty to Fatherland
      His heart inflexible as starch is,
    Whene'er he hears upon a band
      The too prolific Sousa's marches;
    And from his eyes a tear he wipes,
    Each time he sees the Stars and Stripes.

    Tho' others roam across the foam
      To European health resorts,
    The fact that "there's no place like home"
      Is foremost in our hero's thoughts;
    And all in vain have people tried
    To lure him from his "ain fireside."

    Let tourists travel near or far,
      By wayward breezes widely blown,
    _He_ stops at the Astoria,
      "A poor thing" (Shakespeare), "but his own;"
    And nothing that his friends may do
    Can drag him from Fifth Avenue.

    The Western heiress is content
      To scale, as a prospective bride,
    The bare six-story tenement
      Where foreign pauper peers reside;
    But men like Astor all disparage
    The so-called Morgan-attic marriage.

    The rich Chicago millionaire
      May buy a mansion in Belgravia,
    Have footmen there with powdered hair
      And frigidly correct behaviour;
    But marble stairs and plate of gold
    Leave Astor absolutely cold.

    The lofty ducal residence,
      That fronts some Surrey riverside,
    Would wound his socialistic sense,
      And pain his patriotic pride;
    He would not change for Castles Highland
    His cabbage-patch on Coney Island.

    A statue in some Roman street,
      A palace of Venetian gilding,
    Appear to him not half so sweet
      As any modern Vanderbuilding;
    He views, without an envious throe,
    The wolf that suckled Romeo!

    Roast beef, or frogs, or sauerkraut,
      Their mead of praise from some may win;
    Our hero cannot do without
      Peanuts and clams and terrapin;
    Away from home, his soul would lack
    The cocktail and the canvasback.

    Not his to walk the crowded Strand;
      'Mid busy London's jar and hum.
    On quiet Broadway he would stand,
      Saying "Americanus sum!"
    His smile so tranquil, so seraphic,--
    Small wonder that it stops the traffic!

    Who would not be a man like he,
      (This lapse of grammar pray forgive,)
    So simply satisfied to be,
      Contented with his lot to live,--
    Whether or not it be, I wot,
    A little lot,--or quite a lot?

    Content with any kind of fare,
      With any tiny piece of earth,
    So long as he can find it there
      Within the land that gave him birth;
    Content with simple beans and pork,
    If he may eat them in New York!

    O persons who have made your pile,
      And spend it far across the seas,
    Like landlords of the Em'rald Isle,
      Denounced notorious absentees,
    I pray you imitate the Master,
    And stay at home like Mr. Astor!

    But if you go abroad at all,
      And leave your fatherland behind you,
    Without an effort to recall
      The sentimental ties that bind you,
    I should be grateful if you could
    Contrive to stay away for good!



_Henry VIII_


    With Stevenson we must agree,
      Who found the world so full of things,
    That all should be, or so said he,
      As happy as a host of Kings;
    Yet few so fortunate as not
    To envy Bluff King Henry's lot.

    A polished monarch, through and through,
      Tho' somewhat lacking in religion,
    Who joined a courtly manner to
      The figure of a pouter pigeon;
    And was, at time of feast or revel
    A ... well ... a perfect little devil!

    But tho' his vices, I'm afraid,
      Are hard for modern minds to swallow,
    Two lofty virtues he displayed,
      Which we should do our best to follow:--
    A passion for domestic life,
    A cult for what is called The Wife.

    He sought his spouses, North and South.
      Six times (to make a misquotation)
    He managed, at the Canon's mouth,
      To win a bubble reputation;
    And ev'ry time, from last to first,
    His matrimonial bubble burst!

    Six times, with wide, self-conscious smile
      And well-blacked, button boots, he entered
    The Abbey's bust-congested aisle,
      With ev'ry eye upon him centred;
    Six times he heard, and not alone,
    The march of Mr. Mendelssohn.

    Six sep'rate times (or three times twice),
      In order to complete the marriage,
    'Mid painful show'rs of boots and rice,
      He sought the shelter of his carriage;
    Six times the bride, beneath her veil,
    Looked "beautiful, but somewhat pale."

    Within the limits of one reign,
      Six females of undaunted bearing,
    Two Annes, three Kath'rines, and a Jane,
      Enjoyed the privilege of sharing
    A conjugal career so chequer'd
    It almost constitutes a record!

    Yet sometimes it occurs to me
      That Henry missed his true vocation;
    A husband by profession he,
      A widower by occupation;
    And, honestly, it seems a pity
    He didn't live in Salt Lake City.

    For there he could have put in force
      His plural marriage views, unbaffled;
    Nor had recourse to dull divorce,
      Nor sought the service of the scaffold;
    Nor looked for peace, nor found release,
    In any partner's predecease.

    Had Henry been alive to-day,
      He might have hired a timely motor,
    And sent each wife in turn to stay
      Within the confines of Dakota;
    That State whose rigid marriage-law,
    Is eulogised by Bernard Shaw.

    But Henry's simple days are done,
      And, in the present generation,
    A wife is seldom woo'd and won
      By prospects of decapitation.
    For nowadays when Woman weds,
    It is the _Men_ who lose their heads!



_Alton B. Parker_


    Those Roman Fathers, long ago,
      Established a sublime tradition,
    Who gave the Man Behind the Hoe
      His proud proconsular position;
    When Cincinnatus left his hens,
    And beat his ploughshares into pens.

    His modern prototype we see,
      Descended from some humble attic,
    The Presidential nominee
      Of those whose views are Democratic;
    From Millionaire to Billiard Marker
    They plumped their votes for Central Parker.

    A member of the sterner sex,
      Possessing neither wealth nor beauty,
    But gifted with a really ex--
      --Traordinary sense of Duty;
    In Honour's list I place him first,--
    With Cæsar's Wife and Mr. Hearst.

    From childhood's day this son of toil,
      Since first he laid aside his rattle,
    Was wont to cultivate the soil,
      Or milk his father's kindly cattle;
    To groom the pigs, drive crows away,
    Or teach the bantams how to lay.

    This sprightly lad, his parents' pet,
      With tastes essentially bucolic,
    Eschewed the straightcut cigarette,
      And shunned refreshments alcoholic;
    His simple pleasure 'twas to plumb
    The deep-laid joys of chewing gum.

    As local pedagogue he next
      Attained to years of indiscretion,
    To preach the Solomonian text
      So popular with that profession,
    Which honours whom (and what) it teaches
    More in th' observance than the breeches.

    The sprightly Parker soon one sees,
      Head of a legal institution,
    Enjoying huge retaining fees
      As counsel for the prosecution.
    (Advice to lawyers, _meum non est_,--
    Get on, get honour, then get honest!)

    Behold him, then, like comet, shoot
      Beyond the bounds of birth or station,
    And gain, as jurist of repute,
      A continental reputation.
    (Don't mix him with that "Triple Star"
    Which lights a more unworthy "bar.")

    A proud position now is his,
      A judge, arrayed in moral ermine,
    As from the Bench he sentences
      His fellow-man, and other vermin,
    And does his duty to his neighbour,
    By giving him six months' hard labour.

    On knotty questions of finance
      He bears aloft the golden standard,
    For he whose motto is "Advance!"
      To baser coin has never pandered.
    No eulogist of War is he,
    "Retrenchment!" is his _dernier cri_.

    But tho', to his convictions true,
      With strength like concentrated Eno,
    He did his very utmost to
      Emancipate the Filipino,
    A fickle public chose Another,
    Who called the Coloured Coon his Brother.



_Euclid_


    When Egypt was a first-class Pow'r--
      When Ptolemy was King, that is,
    Whose benefices used to show'r
      On all the local charities,
    And by his liberal subscriptions
    Was always spoiling the Egyptians--

    The Alexandrine School enjoyed
      A proud and primary position
    For training scholars not devoid
      Of geometric erudition;
    Where arithmetical fanatics
    Could even _live_ in (mathem)-attics.

    The best informed Historians name
      This Institution the possessor
    Of one who occupied with fame
      The post of principal Professor,
    Who had a more expansive brain
    Than any man--before Hall Caine.

    No complex sums of huge amounts
      Perplexed his algebraic knowledge;
    With ease he balanced the accounts
      Of his (at times insolvent) College;
    He was, without the least romance,
    A very Blondin of Finance.

    In pencil, on his shirt-cuff, he,
      Without a moment's hesitation,
    Elucidated easily
      The most elab'rate calculation
    (His washing got, I needn't mention,
    The local laundry's best attention).

    Behind a manner mild as mouse,
      Blue-spectacled and inoffensive,
    He hid a judgment and a _nous_
      As overwhelming as extensive,
    And cloaked a soul immune from wrong
    Beneath an ample ong-bong-pong.

    To rows of conscientious youths,
      Whom 'twas his duty to take care of,
    He loved to prove the truth of truths
      Which they already were aware of;
    They learnt to look politely bored,
    Where modern students would have snored.

    To show that Two and Two make Four,
      That All is greater than a Portion,
    Requires no dialectic lore,
      Nor any cerebral contortion;
    The public's faith in facts was steady,
    Before the days of Mrs. Eddy.

    But what was hard to overlook
      (From which Society still suffers)
    Was all the trouble Euclid took
      To teach the game of Bridge to duffers.
    Insisting, when he got a quorum,
    On "_Pons_" (he called it) "_Asinorum_."

    The guileless methods of his game
      Provoked his partner's strongest strictures;
    He hardly knew the cards by name,
      But realised that some had pictures;
    Exhausting ev'rybody's patience
    By his perpetual revocations.

    For weary hours, in deep concern,
      O'er dummy's hand he loved to linger,
    Denoting ev'ry card in turn,
      With timid indecisive finger;
    And stopped to say, at each delay,
    "I really don't know _what_ to play!"

    He sought, at any cost, to win
      His ev'ry suit in turn unguarding;
    He trumped his partner's "best card in,"
      His own egregiously discarding;
    Remarking sadly, when in doubt,
    "I quite forgot the King was out!"

    Alert opponents always knew,
      By what the look upon his face was,
    When safety lay in leading through,
      And where, of course, the fatal ace was;
    Assuring the complete successes
    Of bold but hazardous "finesses."

    But nowadays we find no trace,
      From distant Assouan to Cairo,
    To mark the place where dwelt a race
      Mistaught by so absurd a tyro;
    And nothing but occult inscriptions
    Recall the sports of past Egyptians.

    Yes, "_autre temps_" and "_autre moeurs_,"
      "_Où sont_ indeed _les neiges d'antan_?"
    The modern native much prefers
      Debauching in some _café chantant_,
    Nor ever shows the least ambition
    To solve a single Proposition.

    O Euclid, luckiest of men!
      You knew no English interloper;
    For Allah's Garden was not then
      The pleasure-ground of Alleh Sloper,
    Nor (broth-like) had your country's looks
    Been spoilt by an excess of "Cooks."

    The Nile to your untutored ears
      Discoursed in dull but tender tones;
    Not yours the modern Dahabeahs,
      Supplied with strident gramophones,
    Imploring, in a loud refrain,
    Bill Bailey to come home again.

    Your cars, the older-fashioned sort,
      And drawn, perhaps, by alligators,
    Were not the modern Juggernaut-
      Child-dog-and-space-obliterators,
    Those "stormy petrols" of the land
    Which deal decease on either hand.

    No European tourist wags
      Defiled the desert's dusky face
    With orange peel and paper bags,
      Those emblems of a cultured race;
    Or cut the noble name of Jones,
    On tombs which held a monarch's bones.

    O Euclid! Could you see to-day
      The sunny clime you once frequented,
    And note the way we moderns play
      The game you thoughtfully invented,
    The knowledge of your guilt would force yer
    To feelings of internal nausea!



_J. M. Barrie_


    The briny tears unbidden start,
      At mention of my hero's name!
    Was ever set so huge a heart
      Within so small a frame?
    So much of tenderness and grace
    Confined in such a slender space?

    (O tiniest of tiny men!
      So wise, so whimsical, so witty!
    Whose magic little fairy-pen
      Is steeped in human pity;
    Whose humour plays so quaint a tune,
    From Peter Pan to Pantaloon!)

    So wide a sympathy has he,
      Such kindliness without an end,
    That children clamber on his knee,
      And claim him as a friend;
    They somehow know he understands,
    And doesn't mind their sticky hands.

    And so they swarm about his neck,
      With energy that nothing wearies,
    Assured that he will never check
      Their ceaseless flow of queries,
    And grateful, with a warm affection,
    For his avuncular protection.

    And when his watch he opens wide,
      Or beats them all at blowing bubbles,
    They tell him how the dormouse died,
      And all their tiny troubles;
    And drag him, if he seems deprest,
    To see the baby squirrel's nest.

    For hidden treasure he can dig,
      Pursue the Indians in the wood,
    Feed the prolific guinea-pig
      With inappropriate food;
    Do all the things that mattered so
    In happy days of long ago.

    All this he can achieve, and more!
      For, 'neath the magic of his brain,
    The young are younger than before,
      The old grow young again,
    To dream of Beauty and of Truth
    For hearts that win eternal youth.

    Fat apoplectic men I know,
      With well-developed Little Marys,
    Look almost human when they show
      Their faith in Barrie's fairies;
    Their blank lethargic faces lighten
    In admiration of his Crichton.

    To lovers who, with fingers cold,
      Attempt to fan some dying ember,
    He brings the happy days of old,
      And bids their hearts remember;
    Recalling in romantic fashion
    The tenderness of earlier passion.

    And modern matrons who can find
      So little leisure for the Nurs'ry,
    Whose interest in babykind
      Is eminently curs'ry,
    New views on Motherhood acquire
    From Alice-sitting-by-the-Fire!

    While men of every sort and kind,
      At times of sunshine or of trouble,
    In Sentimental Tommy find
      Their own amazing double;
    To each in turn the mem'ry comes
    Of some belov'd forgotten Thrums.

    To Barrie's literary art
      That strong poetic sense is clinging
    Which hears, in ev'ry human heart,
      A "late lark" faintly singing,
    A bird that bears upon its wing
    The promise of perpetual Spring.

    Materialists may labour much
      At problems for the modern stage;
    His simpler methods reach and touch
      The Young of ev'ry age;
    And first and second childhood meet
    On common ground at Barrie's feet!



_Omar Khayyam_


    Though many a great Philosopher
      Has earned the Epicure's diploma,
    Not one of them, as I aver,
      So much deserved the prize as Omar;
    For he, without the least misgiving,
    Combined High Thinking and High Living.

    He lived in Persia, long ago,
      Upon a somewhat slender pittance;
    And Persia is, as you may know,
      The home of Shahs and fubsy kittens,
    (A quite consistent _habitat_,
    Since "Shah," of course, is French for "cat.")

    He lived--as I was saying, when
      You interrupted, impolitely--
    Not loosely, like his fellow-men,
      But, _vicê versâ_, rather tightly;
    And drank his share, so runs the story,
    And other people's, _con amore_.

    A great Astronomer, no doubt,
      He often found some Constellation
    Which others could not see without
      Profuse internal irrigation;
    And snakes he saw, and crimson mice,
    Until his colleagues rang for ice.

    Omar, who owned a length of throat
      As dry as the proverbial "drummer,"
    And quite believed that (let me quote)
      "One swallow does not make a summer,"
    Supplied a model to society
    Of frank, persistent insobriety.
       *       *       *       *       *
    Ah, fill the cup with nectar sweet,
      Until, when indisposed for more,
    Your puzzled, inadhesive feet
      Elude the smooth revolving floor.
    What matter doubts, despair or sorrow?
    To-day is Yesterday To-morrow!

    Oblivion in the bottle win,
      Let finger-bowls with vodka foam,
    And seek the Open Port within
      Some dignified Inebriates' Home;
    Assuming there, with kingly air,
    A crown of vine-leaves in your hair!

    A book of verse (my own, for choice),
      A slice of cake, some ice-cream soda,
    A lady with a tuneful voice,
      Beside me in some dim pagoda!
    A cellar--if I had the key,--
    Would be a Paradise to me!

    In cosy seat, with lots to eat,
      And bottles of Lafitte to fracture
    (And, by-the-bye, the word La-feet
      Recalls the mode of manufacture)--
    I contemplate, at easy distance,
    The troublous problems of existence.

    For even if it could be mine
      To change Creation's partial scheme,
    To mould it to a fresh design,
      More nearly that of which I dream,
    Most probably, my weak endeavour
    Would make more mess of it than ever!

    So let us stock our cellar shelves
      With balm to lubricate the throttle;
    For "Heav'n helps those who help themselves,"
      So help yourself, and pass the bottle!
       .      .      .      .      .      .
    What! Would you quarrel with my moral?
    (Waiter! Leshavanotherborrel!)



_Andrew Carnegie_


    In Caledonia, stern and wild,
      Whence scholars, statesmen, bards have sprung,
    Where ev'ry little barefoot child
      Correctly lisps his mother-tongue,
    And lingual solecisms betoken
    That Scotch is drunk, as well as spoken,
    There dwells a man of iron nerve,
      A millionaire without a peer,
    Possessing that supreme reserve
      Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere,
    And marks him out to human ken
    As one of Nature's noblemen.

    Like other self-made persons, he
      Is surely much to be excused,
    Since they have had no choice, you see,
      Of the material to be used;
    But when his noiseless fabric grew,
    He builded better than he knew.

    A democrat, whose views are frank,
      To him Success alone is vital;
    He deems the wealthy cabman's "rank"
      As good as any other title;
    To him the post of postman betters
    The trade of other Men of Letters.

    The relative who seeks to wed
      Some nice but indigent patrician,
    He urges to select instead
      A coachman of assured position,
    Since safety-matches, you'll agree,
    Strike only on the box, says he.

    At Skibo Castle, by the sea,
      A splendid palace he has built,
    Equipped with all the luxury
      Of plush, of looking-glass, and gilt;
    A style which Ruskin much enjoyed,
    And christened "Early German Lloyd."

    With milking-stools and ribbon'd screens
      The floor is covered, well I know;
    The walls are thick with tambourines,
      Hand-painted many years ago;
    Ah, how much taste our forbears had!
    And nearly all of it was bad.

    Each flow'r-embroidered boudoir suite,
      Each "cosy corner" set apart,
    Was modelled in the Regent Street
      Emporium of suburban art.
    "O Liberty!" (I quote with shame)
    "The crimes committed in thy name!"

    But tho' his mansion now contains
      A swimming-bath, a barrel-organ,
    Electric light, and even drains,
      As good as those of Mr. Morgan,
    There was a time when Andrew C.
    Was not obsessed by l. s. d.

    Across the seas he made his pile,
      In Pittsburg, where, I've understood,
    You have to exercise some guile
      To do the very slightest good;
    But he kept doing good by stealth,
    And doubtless blushed to find it wealth.

    And now his private hobby 'tis
      To meet a starving people's need
    By making gifts of libraries
      To those who never learnt to read;
    Rich mental banquets he provides
    For folks with famishing insides.

    In Education's hallowed name
      He pours his opulent libations;
    His vast deserted Halls of Fame
      Increase the gaiety of nations.
    But still the slums are plague-infested,
    The hospitals remain congested.
       .      .      .      .      .      .
    Carnegie, should your kindly eye
      This foolish book of verses meet,
    Please order an immense supply,
      To make your libraries complete,
    And register its author's name
    Within your princely Halls of Fame!



_King Cophetua_


    To sing of King Cophetua
      I am indeed unwilling,
    For none of his adventures are
      Particularly thrilling;
    Nor, as I hardly need to mention,
    Am I addicted to invention.

    The story of his roving eye,
      You must already know it,
    Since it has been narrated by
      Lord Tennyson, the poet;
    I could a moving tale unfold,
    But it has been so often told.

    But since I wish my friends to see
      My early education,
    If Tennyson will pardon me
      A somewhat free translation,
    I'll try if something can't be sung
    In someone else's mother-tongue.

    "Cophetua and the Beggar Maid!"
      So runs the story's title
    (An explanation, I'm afraid,
      Is absolutely vital),
    Express'd, as I need hardly mench:
    In 4 a.m. (or early) French:--

    _Les bras posés sur la poitrine
    Lui fait l'apparence divine,--
    Enfin elle a très bonne mine,--
          Elle arrive, ne portant pas
          De sabots, ni même de bas,
          Pieds-nus, au roi Cophetua._

    _Le roi lors, couronne sur tête,
    Vêtu de ses robes de fête,
    Va la rencontrer, et l'arrête.
          On dit, "Tiens, il y en a de quoi!"
          "Je ferais ça si c'était moi!"
          Il saits s'amuser donc, ce roi!_

    _Ainsi qu'la lune brille aux cieux,
    Cette enfant luit de mieux en mieux,
    Quand même ses habits soient vieux.
          En voilà un qui loue ses yeux,
          Un autre admire ses cheveux,
          Et tout le monde est amoureux._

    _Car on n'a jamais vu là-bas
    Un charme tel que celui-là
    Alors le bon Cophetua
          Jure, "La pauvre mendiante,
          Si séduisante, si charmante,
          Sera ma femme,--ou bien ma tante!"_



_Joseph F. Smith_


    Though, to the ordinary mind,
      The weight of marriage ties is such
    That many mere, male, mortals find
      One wife enough,--if not too much;
    I see no no reason to abuse
    A person holding other views.

    Though most of us, at any rate,
      Have not acquired the plural habits,
    Which we are apt to delegate
      To Eastern potentates,--or rabbits;
    We should regard with open mind
    The more uxoriously inclined.

    In Salt Lake City dwells a man
      Who deems monogamy a myth;
    (One of that too prolific clan
      Which glories in the name of Smith);
    A "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator,"
    With the appearance of a waiter.

    This hoary patriarch contrives
      To thrive in manner most bewild'rin',
    With close on half a dozen wives,
      And nearly half a hundred children;
    And views with unaffrighted eyes
    The burden of domestic ties.

    To him all spouses seem the same--
      Each one a model of the Graces;
    He knows his children all by name,
      But cannot recollect their faces;
    A minor point, since, I suppose,
    Each one has got its popper's nose!

    They are denied to me and you:
      Such old-world luxuries as his,
    When, after work, he hastens to
      The bosoms of his families
    (Each offspring joining with the others
    In, "What is Home without five Mothers?").

    Such strange surroundings would retard
      Most ordinary men's digestions;
    Five ladies all conversing hard,
      And fifty children asking questions!
    Besides (the tragic final straw),
    Five se-pa-rate mamas-in-law!

    What difficulties there must be
      To find a telescopic mansion;
    For each successive family
      The space sufficient for expansion.
    ("But that," said Kipling, in his glory--
    "But that is quite another storey!")

    The sailor who, from lack of thought,
      Or else a too diffuse affection,
    Has, for a wife in ev'ry port,
      An unappeasing predilection,
    Would designate as "simply great!"
    The mode of life in Utah State.

    The gay Lothario, too, who makes
      His mad but meaningless advances
    To more than one fair maid, and takes
      A large variety of chances,
    Need have no fear, in such a place,
    Of any breach-of-promise case.

    With Mormons of the latter-day
      I have no slightest cause for quarrel;
    Nor do I doubt at all that they
      Are quite exceptionally moral;
    Their President has told us so,
    And he, if anyone, should know.

    But tho' of folks in Utah State,
      But 2 percent lead plural lives,
    Perhaps the other 98
      Are just--their children and their wives!
    O stern, ascetic congregation,
    Resisting all--except temptation!

    Well, I, for one, can see no harm,
      Unless for trouble one were looking,
    In having wives on either arm,
      And one downstairs--to do the cooking.
    A touching scene; with nought to dim it.
    But fifty children!--That's the limit!

    Some middle course would I explore;
      Incur a merely dual bond;
    One wife, brunette, to scrub the floor,
      And one for outdoor use, a blonde;
    Thus happily could I exist,
    A moral Mormonogamist!



_Sherlock Holmes_


    The French "filou" may raise his "bock,"
      The "Green-goods man" his cocktail, when
    He toast Gaboriau's Le Coq,
      Or Pinkerton's discreet young men;
    But beer in British bumpers foams
    Around the name of Sherlock Holmes!

    Come, boon companions, all of you
      Who (woodcock-like) exist by suction,
    Uplift your teeming tankards to
      The great Professor of Deduction!
    Who is he? You shall shortly see
    If (Watson-like) you "follow me."

    In London (on the left-hand side
      As you go in), stands Baker Street,
    Exhibited with proper pride
      By all policemen on the beat,
    As housing one whose predilection
    Is private criminal detection.

    The malefactor's apt disguise
      Presents to him an easy task;
    His placid, penetrating eyes
      Can pierce the most secretive mask;
    And felons ask a deal too much
    Who fancy to elude his clutch.

    No slender or exiguous clew
      Too paltry for his needs is found;
    No knot too stubborn to undo,
      No prey too swift to run to ground;
    No road too difficult to travel,
    No skein too tangled to unravel.

    For Holmes the ash of a cigar,
      A gnat impinging on his eye,
    Possess a meaning subtler far
      Than humbler mortals can descry.
    A primrose at the river's brim
    No simple primrose is to him!

    To Holmes a battered Brahma key,
      Combined with blurred articulation,
    Displays a man's capacity
      For infinite ingurgitation;
    Obliquity of moral vision
    Betrays the civic politician.

    I had an uncle, who possessed
      A marked resemblance to a bloater,
    Whom Sherlock, by deduction, guessed
      To be the victim of a motor;
    Whereas, his wife (or so he swore)
    Had merely shut him in the door!

    My brother's nose, whose hectic hue
      Recalled the sun-kissed autumn leaf,
    Though friends attributed it to
      Some secret or domestic grief,
    Revealed to Holmes his deep potations,
    And _not_ the loss of loved relations!

    I had a poodle, short and fat,
      Who proved a conjugal deceiver;
    Her offspring were a Maltese Cat,
      Two Dachshunds and a pink retriever!
    Her husband was a pure-bred Skye;
    And Sherlock Holmes alone knew why!

    When after-dinner speakers rise,
      To plunge in anecdotage deep,
    At once will Sherlock recognise
      Each welcome harbinger of sleep:
    That voice which torpid guests entrances,
    That immemorial voice of Chauncey's!

    Not his, suppose Hall Caine should walk
      All unannounced into the room,
    To say, like pressmen of New York,
      "Er--Mr. Shakespeare, I presoom?"
    By name "The Manxman" Holmes would hail,
    Observing that he _had no tale_.

    In vain, amid the lonely state
      Of Zion, dreariest of havens,
    Does bashful Dowie emulate
      The prophet who was fed by ravens;
    To Holmes such affluence betrays
    A prophet who is fed by _jays_!
       .      .      .      .      .      .
    With Holmes there lived a foolish man,
      To whom I briefly must allude,
    Who gloried in possessing an
      Abnormal mental hebetude;
    One could describe the grossest _bétise_
    To this (forgive the rhyme) Achates.

    'Twas Doctor Watson, human mole,
      Obtusely, painfully polite;
    Who played the unambitious rôle
      Of parasitic satellite;
    Inevitably bound to bore us,
    Like Aristophanes's Chorus.
       .      .      .      .      .      .
    But London town is sad to-day,
      And preternaturally solemn;
    The fountains murmur "Let us spray"
      To Nelson on his lonely column;
    Big Ben is mute, her clapper crack'd is,
    For Holmes has given up his practice.

    No more in silence, as the snake,
      Will he his sinuous path pursue,
    Till, like the weasel (when awake),
      Or deft, resilient kangaroo,
    He leaps upon his quivering quarry,
    Before there's time to say you're sorry.

    No more will criminals, at dawn,
      Effecting some burglarious entry,
    (While Sherlock, on the garden lawn,
      Enacts the thankless rôle of sentry),
    Discover, to their bitter cost,
    That felons who are found--are lost!

    No more on Holmes shall Watson base
      The Chronicles he proudly fabled;
    The violin and morphia-case
      Are in the passage, packed and labelled;
    And Holmes himself is at the door,
    Departing--to return no more.

    He bids farewell to Baker Street,
      Though Watson clings about his knees;
    He hastens to his country seat,
      To spend his dotage keeping bees;
    And one of them, depend upon it,
    Shall find a haven in his bonnet!

    But though in grief our heads are bowed,
      And tears upon our cheeks are shining,
    We recognise that ev'ry cloud
      Conceals somewhere a silver lining;
    And hear with deep congratulation
    Of Watson's timely termination.



_Aftword_


    Ye Critics, who with bilious eye
      Peruse my incoherent medley,
    Prepared to let your arrows fly,
      With cruel aim and purpose deadly,
    Desist a moment, ere you spoil
    The harvest of a twelvemonth's toil!

    Remember, should you scent afar
      The crusted jokes of days gone by,
    What conscious plagiarists we are:
      Molière and Seymour Hicks and I,
    For, as my bearded chestnuts prove,
    _Je prends mon bien où je le trouve!_

    My wealth of wit I never waste
      On Chestertonian paradox;
    My humour, in the best of taste,
      Like Miss Corelli's, never shocks;
    For sacred things my rev'rent awe
    Resembles that of Bernard Shaw.

    Behold how tenderly I treat
      Each victim of my pen and brain,
    And should I tread upon his feet,
      How lightly I leap off again;
    Observe with what an airy grace
    I fling my inkpot in his face!

    And those who seek at Christmas time,
      An inexpensive gift for Mother,
    Will fine this foolish book of rhyme
      As apposite as any other,
    And suitable for presentation
    To any poor or near relation.

    To those whose intellect is small,
      This work should prove a priceless treasure;
    To persons who have none at all,
      A never-ending fount of pleasure;
    A mental stimulus or tonic
    To all whose idiocy is chronic.

    And you, my Readers (never mind
      Which category you come under),
    Will, after due reflection, find
      My verse a constant source of wonder;
    'Twill make you _think_, I dare to swear--
    But _what_ you think I do not care!





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