The Vision of Noah

The rising deluge he descried.
He saw upon the foaming tide
The nation's arks at random ride.

One ark came slow and heavily,
By toiling swimmers on the sea
Supported, as most arks must be.

It seemed unconscious of the flood,
There sat within a multitude
Discoursing on the public good.

No ark had some, nor aught unsound.
Serenely upon higher ground
They stood and waited to be drowned.

With pensive scrutiny remote
They criticised each kind of boat,
Remarking how it would not float.

Drowning was safer, they averred;
In peaceful minor keys he heard
Them murmur, drowning they preferred.

There braved the foaming flood's expanse,
There took the waves with sprightly dance —
The philosophical romance.

" If I might venture a remark,"
He said, " a very pretty bark!
But which is flood, and which is ark?"

Others, avoiding more and more
All the weak points of arks of yore,
Had built an ark without a door.

They clung to it in calm austere,
Remarking: " It is very clear,
The flood can never enter here!"

They passed him, fading into mist,
There floated near him ere he wist
The vessel of the Socialist.

A goodly, but confusing bark,
A vision on the waters dark
Of many doors without an ark.

Hard by a lurid vessel shone,
That even as he looked thereon
Swiftly exploded, and was gone!

A tear for memory he shed,
He shook his patriarchal head,
And " Give me gopherwood!" he said.
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