The Ballad Of The Proverbs

So rough the goat will scratch, it cannot sleep.
So often goes the pot to the well that it breaks.
So long you heat iron, it will glow;
so heavily you hammer it, it shatters.
So good is the man as his praise;
so far he will go, and he's forgotten;
so bad he behaves, and he's despised.
So loud you cry Christmas, it comes.

So glib you talk, you end up in contradictions.
So good is your credit as the favors you got.
So much you promise that you will back out.
So doggedly you beg that your wish is granted;


The Ballad of the Murdered Merchant

All stark and cold the merchant lay,
All cold and stark lay he.
And who hath killed the fair merchant?
Now tell the truth to me.

Oh, I have killed this fair merchant
Will never again draw breath;
Oh, I have made this fair merchant
To come unto his death.

Oh, why hast thou killed this fair merchant
Whose corpse I now behold?
And why hast caused this man to lie
In death all stark and cold?

Oh, I have killed this fair merchant
Whose kith and kin make moan,


The Ballad Of The Harp-Weaver

"Son," said my mother,
When I was knee-high,
"you've need of clothes to cover you,
and not a rag have I.

"There's nothing in the house
To make a boy breeches,
Nor shears to cut a cloth with,
Nor thread to take stitches.

"There's nothing in the house
But a loaf-end of rye,
And a harp with a woman's head
Nobody will buy,"
And she began to cry.

That was in the early fall.
When came the late fall,
"Son," she said, "the sight of you
Makes your mother's blood crawl,—


The Ballad Of The Hanged Men

Men my brothers who after us live,
have your hearts against us not hardened.
For—if of poor us you take pity,
God of you sooner will show mercy.
You see us here, attached.
As for the flesh we too well have fed,
long since it's been devoured or has rotted.
And we the bones are becoming ash and dust.

Of our pain let nobody laugh,
but pray God
would us all absolve.

If you my brothers I call, do not
scoff at us in disdain, though killed
we were by justice. Yet ss you know


The Ballad Of The Children Of The Czar

1

The children of the Czar
Played with a bouncing ball

In the May morning, in the Czar's garden,
Tossing it back and forth.

It fell among the flowerbeds
Or fled to the north gate.

A daylight moon hung up
In the Western sky, bald white.

Like Papa's face, said Sister,
Hurling the white ball forth.

2

While I ate a baked potato
Six thousand miles apart,

In Brooklyn, in 1916,
Aged two, irrational.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt


The Ballad of the Carpet Bag

Ho! Darkies, don't you hear dose voters cryin'
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must get to de Poll, you must get there flyin';
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must travel by de road, you must travel by de train,
And the things what you've done you will have to explain,
And the things what you've promised, you must promise 'em again.
Pack dat carpet bag!
Hear dem voters callin!
Pack de clean boiled rag.
For there's grass in the west, and the rain am fallin'.
Pack dat carpet bag!


The Ballad of the Calliope

By the far Samoan shore,
Where the league-long rollers pour
All the wash of the Pacific on the coral-guarded bay,
Riding lightly at their ease,
In the calm of tropic seas,
The three great nations' warships at their anchors proudly lay.
Riding lightly, head to wind,
With the coral reefs behind,
Three German and three Yankee ships were mirrored in the blue;
And on one ship unfurled
Was the flag that rules the world --
For on the old Calliope the flag of England flew.


The Ballad of the Anti-Puritan

They spoke of Progress spiring round,
Of light and Mrs Humphrey Ward--
It is not true to say I frowned,
Or ran about the room and roared;
I might have simply sat and snored--
I rose politely in the club
And said, `I feel a little bored;
Will someone take me to a pub?'

The new world's wisest did surround
Me; and it pains me to record
I did not think their views profound,
Or their conclusions well assured;
The simple life I can't afford,
Besides, I do not like the grub--


The Ballad of That P.N

The shades of night had fallen at last,
When through the house a shadow passed,
That once had been the Genial Dan,
But now become a desperate man,
At question time he waited near,
And on the Premier's startled ear
A voice fell like half a brick --
"Did ye, or did ye not, pay Crick
Did ye?"
By land and sea the Premier sped,
But found his foe where'er he fled,
The sailors swore -- with whitened lip --
That Neptune swam behind the ship:
When to the stern the Premier ran,


The Ballad of Rudolph Reed

Rudolph Reed was oaken.
His wife was oaken too.
And his two good girls and his good little man
Oakened as they grew.

"I am not hungry for berries.
I am not hungry for bread.
But hungry hungry for a house
Where at night a man in bed

"May never hear the plaster
Stir as if in pain.
May never hear the roaches
Falling like fat rain.

"Where never wife and children need
Go blinking through the gloom.
Where every room of many rooms
Will be full of room.


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