How Big Was Alexander?


How BIG was Alexander, Pa,

That people call him great?

Was he like old Goliath tall,

His spear a hundredweight?

Was he so large that he could stand

Like some tall steeple high,

And while his feet were on the ground,

His hands could touch the sky?


O no, my child: about as large

As I or uncle James.

'Twas not his stature made him great

But greatness of his name.


His name so great? I know 'tis long,

But easy quite to spell;

And more than half a year ago

I knew it very well.


I mean, my child, his actions were

So great he got a name

That everybody speaks with praise,

That tells about his fame.


Well, what great actions did he do?

I want to know it all.


Why, he it was that conquered Tyre,

And leveled down her wall

And thousands of her people slew,

And then to Persia went,

And fire and sword on every side

Through many a region sent.

A hundred conquered cities shone

With midnight burnings red;

And strewed o'er many a battleground

A thousand soldiers bled.


Did killing people make him great?

Then why was Abdel Young,

Who killed his neighbor training day,

Put into jail and hung?

I never heard them call him great.


Why, no, 'twas not in war;

And him that kills a single man

His neighbors all abhor.


Well, then, if I should kill a man,

I'd kill a hundred more;

I should be great and not get hung,

Like Abdel Young, before.


Not so, my child, 'twill never do;

The Gospel bids be kind.


Then they that kill and they that praise,

The Gospel do not mind.


You know, my child, the Bible says

That you must always do

To other people as you wish

To have them do to you.


But, Pa, did Alexander wish

That some strong man would come

And burn his house and kill him too,

And do as he had done?

Did everybody call him great,

For killing people so?

Well, now, what right had he to kill,

I should be glad to know.

If one should burn the buildings here,

And kill the folks within,

Would anybody call him great

For such a wicked thing?

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