Monday, February 19, 2018

How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear, 
Who has written such volumes of stuff. 
Some think him ill-tempered and queer, 
But a few find him pleasant enough. 

His mind is concrete and fastidious, 
His nose is remarkably big; 
His visage is more or less hideous, 
His beard it resembles a wig. 

He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers, 
(Leastways if you reckon two thumbs); 
He used to be one of the singers, 
But now he is one of the dumbs. 

He sits in a beautiful parlour, 
With hundreds of books on the wall; 
He drinks a great deal of marsala, 
But never gets tipsy at all. 

He has many friends, laymen and clerical, 
Old Foss is the name of his cat; 
His body is perfectly spherical, 
He weareth a runcible hat. 

When he walks in waterproof white, 
The children run after him so! 
Calling out, "He's gone out in his night- 
Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!" 

He weeps by the side of the ocean, 
He weeps on the top of the hill; 
He purchases pancakes and lotion, 
And chocolate shrimps from the mill. 

He reads, but he does not speak, Spanish, 
He cannot abide ginger beer; 
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish, 
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!

~ Edward Lear

Friday, February 16, 2018

Father William

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door –
Pray, what is the reason of that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment – one shilling the box –
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet; 
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak –
Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose –
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father; “don’t give yourself airs! 
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you downstairs!”

~ Lewis Carroll

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Madame Dill

Madame Dill
Is very ill,
And nothing will improve her,
Until she sees
The Tuileries
And Waddles through the Louvre.

~ Anonymous

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Elsie Marley

Elsie Marley is grown so fine,
She won't get up to feed the swine,
But lies in bed till eight or nine,
Lazy Elsie Marley.

~ Anonymous

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lizzie Borden

Lizzie Borden took an axe
and gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one!

~ Anonymous

Monday, February 12, 2018

John Wesley Gaines

John Wesley Gaines!
John Wesley Gaines!
Thou monumental mass of brains!
Come in, John Wesley
For it rains.

~ Anonymous

Friday, February 9, 2018

An Elegy on the Glory of Her Sex, Mrs. Mary Blaize

Good people all, with one accord
Lament for Madam Blaize,
Who never wanted a good word,—
From those who spoke her praise.

The needy seldom passed her door,
And always found her kind;
She freely lent to all the poor,—
Who left a pledge behind.

She strove the neighbourhood to please
With manners wondrous winning;
And never followed wicked ways,—
Unless when she was sinning.

At church, in silks and satins new,
With hoop of monstrous size,
She never slumbered in her pew,—
But when she shut her eyes.

Her love was sought, I do aver,
By twenty beaux and more;
The king himself has followed her,—
When she has walked before.

But now her wealth and finery fled,
Her hangers-on cut short all;
The doctors found, when she was dead,—
Her last disorder mortal.

Let us lament in sorrow sore,
For Kent Street well may say
That had she lived a twelvemonth more,—
She had not died today.

~ Oliver Goldsmith

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Jesse James

It was on a Wednesday night, the moon was shining bright,
He stopped the Glendale train,
And the people all did say for many miles away,
It was robbed by Frank and Jesse James.

Jesse had a wife to mourn for his life,
Three children, they were brave,
But that dirty little coward that shot Mister Howard,
Has laid Jesse James in his grave.

Jesse was a man, a friend to the poor,
He’d never see a man suffer pain,
And with his brother Frank he robbed the Chicago bank,
And stopped the Glendale train.

It was Robert Ford, that dirty little coward,
I wonder how he does feel,
For he ate of Jesse’s bread and he slept in Jesse’s bed,
Then he laid Jesse James in his grave.

It was his brother Frank that robbed the Gallatin bank,
And carried the money from the town,
It was in this very place that they had a little race,
For they shot Captain Sheets to the ground.

They went to the crossing not very far fro there,
And there they did the same;
And the agent on his knees he delivered up the keys,
To the outlaws Frank and Jesse James.

It was on a Saturday night, Jesse was at home,
Talking to his family brave,
Robert Ford came along like a thief in the night,
And laid Jesse James in his grave.

Jesse went to his rest with his hand on his breast,
The devil will be upon his knee,
He was born one day in the county of Clay
And he came from a solitary race.

How people held their breath when they heard of Jesse's death,
And wondered how he ever came to die,
'Twas one of the gang, dirty Robert Ford,
That shot Jesse James on the sly.

Jesse went to rest with his hand on his breast;
He died with a smile on his face,
He was born one day in the country of Clay,
And came from a solitary race.

~ Anonymous

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent

To one who has been long in city pent, 
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair 
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer 
Full in the smile of the blue firmament. 
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content, 
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair 
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair 
And gentle tale of love and languishment? 
Returning home at evening, with an ear 
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye 
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career, 
He mourns that day so soon has glided by: 
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear 
That falls through the clear ether silently.

~ John Keats

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


I have chased fugacious woodchucks over many leagues of land, 
But at last they’ve always vanished in a round
 hole in the sand; 
And though I’ve been woodchucking many 
times–upon my soul–
I have never bagged my woodchuck, for he 
always found his hole. 

l have chased my hot ambitious through the
meadow while with flowers,
Chased them through the clover blossoms, 
chased them through the orchard 

Chased them through the old scrub pastures
till, with weariness of soul
f at last have seen them vanish like a 
woodchuck In his hole. 

But there's fun In chasing woodchucks, and 
I’ll chase the vision still, 
ft it leads me through the dark pine woods 
and up the stony hill.
There's a glorious expectation that still 
lingers In my soul, 
That some day i’ll catch that woodchuck ere
he slides into his hole. 

~ Anonymous

Monday, February 5, 2018

Little Colt

Little colt, you can't help wobbling 
On legs as long as those. 
But you couldn't have them different - 
Not even if you chose, 

You have to have such lots of legs; 
I'm glad you haven't more. 
Just two are all I need. It must 
Be hard to manage four. 

I never saw legs any longer 
Nor long ones any thinner. 
But then you have to have long legs 
So you can reach your dinner. 

~ Anonymous

Friday, February 2, 2018


Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's 
Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe 
them, for I have seen your painted 
women under the gas lamps luring the 
farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I 
answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the 
gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply 
is: On the faces of women and children 
I have seen the marks of wanton 
And having answered so I turn once more to 
those who sneer at this my city, and I 
give them back the sneer and say to 
Come and show me another city with lifted 
head singing so proud to be alive and 
coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of 
piling job on job, here is a tall bold 
slugger set vivid against the little soft 
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for 
action, cunning as a savage pitted 
against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, 
laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing 
as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs 
who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is 
the pulse, 
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling 
laughter of Youth, half-naked, 
sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, 
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player 
with Railroads and Freight Handler to 
the Nation.

~ Carl Sandburg

Thursday, February 1, 2018


I wander through each charter'd street, 
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. 
And mark in every face I meet ,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe. 

In every cry of every Man, 
In every Infants cry of fear, 
In every voice: in every ban, 
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear. 

How the chimney-sweepers cry 
Every blackning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldiers sigh 
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most through midnight streets I hear 
How the youthful Harlots curse 
Blasts the new-born Infants tear, 
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

~ WIlliam Blake

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Out Where the West Begins

Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where the sun is a little brighter,
Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter,
Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter, —
That’s where the West begins.

Out where the skies are a trifle bluer,
Out where friendship’s a little truer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where a fresher breeze is blowing,
Where there’s laughter in every streamlet flowing,
Where there’s more of reaping and less of sowing, —
That’s where the West begins;

Out where the world is in the making,
Where fewer hearts in despair are aching,
That’s where the West begins;
Where there’s more of singing and less of sighing,
Where there’s more of giving and less of buying,
And a man makes friends without half trying —
That’s where the West begins.

~ Arthur Chapman