The Precocious Baby - a Very True Tale

An elderly person - a prophet by trade -
With his quips and tips
On withered old lips,
He married a young and a beautiful maid;
The cunning old blade!
Though rather decayed,
He married a beautiful, beautiful maid.

She was only eighteen, and as fair as could be,
With her tempting smiles
And maidenly wiles,
And he was a trifle past seventy-three:
Now what she could see
Is a puzzle to me,
In a prophet of seventy - seventy-three!

Of all their acquaintances bidden (or bad)


The Politicians

In ancient days when every brute
To humble privilege had right;
Could reason, wrangle, or dispute,
As well as scratch, and tear, and bite;
When Phoebus shone his brightest ray,
The rip'ning corn his pow'r confessed;
His cheering beams made Nature gay,
The eagle in his warmth was blest.
But malcontents e'en then arose,
The birds who love the dolesome night
The darkest grove with care they chose,
And there caball'd against the light.
The screech-owl, with ill-boding cry,


The Poem of Imru al Qays

Stop, oh my friends, let us pause to weep over the remembrance of my beloved.
Here was her abode on the edge of the sandy desert between Dakhool and Howmal.


The traces of her encampment are not wholly obliterated even now.
For when the South wind blows the sand over them the North wind sweeps it away.


The courtyards and enclosures of the old home have become desolate;
The dung of the wild deer lies there thick as the seeds of pepper.



The Parting

Sky's a-waxin' grey,
Got to be a-goin';
Gittin' on my way,
Where? I ain't a-knowin'.
Fellers, no more jokes,
Fun an' frisky greetin'--
So long, all you folks,
Been nice our meetin'.

Sky's a-growin' dark,
Have to be a-startin'.
Feeble is the spark,
Pitiful the partin'.
Family an' all,
Thanks for joy I owe you;
Gotta take my call;
Been sweet to know you.

Sky's a-mighty black,
Close my heart's to breakin'.
Lonesome is the track
I must now be takin'.


The Parson's Son

This is the song of the parson's son, as he squats in his shack alone,
On the wild, weird nights, when the Northern Lights shoot up from the frozen zone,
And it's sixty below, and couched in the snow the hungry huskies moan:

"I'm one of the Arctic brotherhood, I'm an old-time pioneer.
I came with the first -- O God! how I've cursed this Yukon -- but still I'm here.
I've sweated athirst in its summer heat, I've frozen and starved in its cold;
I've followed my dreams by its thousand streams, I've toiled and moiled for its gold.


The Parrot and the Billy-Goat

There were no romping children at Doctor Quibble's door;
Long past the silver wedding, no toys lay on the floor,
But to relieve her longings, to soothe her vain regrets,
His good wife had contrived to raise a family of pets.

What! a family of pets?
Yes! a family of pets;
His good wife had contrived to raise a family of pets.

A Spanish alto, Polly, who sang from early morn;
A bearded actor, Billy, who play'd the double horn;
A mimic man, Falsetto, who scaled the treble staff,


The Owl Describing her Young Ones

Why was that baleful Creature made,
Which seeks our Quiet to invade,
And screams ill Omens through the Shade?

'Twas, sure, for every Mortals good,
When, by wrong painting of her Brood,
She doom'd them for the Eagle's Food:

Who proffer'd Safety to her Tribe,
Wou'd she but shew them or describe,
And serving him, his Favour bribe.

When thus she did his Highness tell;
In Looks my Young do all excel,
Nor Nightingales can sing so well.

You'd joy to see the pretty Souls,


The Old And The New Masters

About suffering, about adoration, the old masters
Disagree. When someone suffers, no one else eats
Or walks or opens the window--no one breathes
As the sufferers watch the sufferer.
In St. Sebastian Mourned by St. Irene
The flame of one torch is the only light.
All the eyes except the maidservant's (she weeps
And covers them with a cloth) are fixed on the shaft
Set in his chest like a column; St. Irene's
Hands are spread in the gesture of the Madonna,
Revealing, accepting, what she does not understand.


The Odyssey Book 8

Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared,
Alcinous and Ulysses both rose, and Alcinous led the way to the
Phaecian place of assembly, which was near the ships. When they got
there they sat down side by side on a seat of polished stone, while
Minerva took the form of one of Alcinous' servants, and went round the
town in order to help Ulysses to get home. She went up to the
citizens, man by man, and said, "Aldermen and town councillors of
the Phaeacians, come to the assembly all of you and listen to the


The Odyssey Book 24

Then Mercury of Cyllene summoned the ghosts of the suitors, and in
his hand he held the fair golden wand with which he seals men's eyes
in sleep or wakes them just as he pleases; with this he roused the
ghosts and led them, while they followed whining and gibbering
behind him. As bats fly squealing in the hollow of some great cave,
when one of them has fallen out of the cluster in which they hang,
even so did the ghosts whine and squeal as Mercury the healer of
sorrow led them down into the dark abode of death. When they had


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