John J. Harrison

John J. Harrison — peace to his head! —
Had one passion, and that was bed.
Truly he counted the day ill-spent
Unless by nine to the hay he went.

My, how he loved, on a winter's night,
To turn down the coverlet, tuck up tight,
And lie, like the beautiful girl in Keats,
A little bit goose-fleshed, between cold sheets.

Buried by blanket and padded quilt,
Many a castle in Spain he built;
Nestled and snuggled and spread his toes,
And just evaporated into repose.

John J. Harrison wisely deemed
That sleep can never be overesteemed,
And a twelve-hour night, on good wire springs,
Is something rare in the lives of kings.

The passion that most men bestow
On golf or cards or tit-tat-toe,
On the other sex, or baseball scores,
J. J. H. put in on snores.

Oh! that man made sleep a career;
He would lie and pound his ear
Eighty Ostermoor hours a week —
What do you think of that technique?

I, as his roommate, had often chidden
Him for being so bedridden:
It looked to me like a certain sign
Of horizontality of the spine!

John's sleepmeter would mew and buzz,
But never could lure him out of the fuzz.
At eight o'clock, when to work I went,
John would register great content.

" Sleep, " he said, " appeals to me,
So I take it seriously:
I could slumber forever, old pup —
Sleep and sleep, and never wake up. "

He was a man I so admired
That I helped him to what he desired:
What he wanted was what he got —
I put a rattlesnake in his cot.
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