Degrees

A Poem by Anonymous

A young theologian named Fiddle
Refused to accept his degree;
“For,” said he, “’tis enough to be Fiddle,
Without being Fiddle D.D.”

A Cosmopolitan Woman

A Poem by Anonymous

She went round and asked subscriptions
For the heathen black Egyptians
And the Terra del Fuegians,
She did;
For the tribes round Athabasca,
And the men of Madagascar,
And the poor souls of Alaska,
So she did;
She longed, she said, to buy
Jelly, cake, and jam, and pie,
For the Anthropophagi,
So she did.

Her heart ached for the Australians
And the Borriobooli-Ghalians,
And the poor dear Amahagger,
Yes, it did;
And she loved the black Numidian,
And the ebon Abyssinian,
And the charcoal-coloured Guinean,
Oh, she did!
And she said she’d cross the seas
With a ship of bread and cheese
For those starving Chimpanzees,
So she did.

How she loved the cold Norwegian
And the poor half-melted Feejeean,
And the dear Molucca Islander,
She did:
She sent tins of red tomato
To the tribes beyond the Equator,
But her husband ate potato,
So he did;
The poor helpless, homeless thing
(My voice falters as I sing)
Tied his clothes up with a string,
Yes, he did.

The Clown’s Courtship

A Poem by Anonymous

Quoth John to Joan, will thou have me;
I prithee now, wilt? and I’ll marry thee,
My cow, my calf, my house, my rents,
And all my lands and tenements:

Chorus:
         Oh, say, my Joan, will not that do?
         I cannot come every day to woo.

I’ve corn and hay in the barn hardby,
And three fat hogs pent up in the sty,
I have a mare and she is coal black,
I ride on her tail to save my back.
                           Chorus:

I have a cheese upon the shelf,
And I cannot eat it all myself;
I’ve three good marks that lie in a rag,
In a nook of the chimney, instead of a bag.
                           Chorus:

To marry I would have thy consent,
But faith I never could compliment;
I can say nought but “Hoy, gee ho!”
Words that belong to the cart and the plough.
         So say, my Joan, will not that do,
         I cannot come every day to woo.

The Chemist To His Love

A Poem by Anonymous

I love thee, Mary, and thou lovest me,
Our mutual flame is like th’ affinity
That doth exist between two simple bodies:
I am Potassium to thine Oxygen.
‘Tis little that the holy marriage vow
Shall shortly make us one. That unity
Is, after all, but metaphysical.
Oh, would that I, my Mary, were an acid,
A living acid; thou an alkali
Endow’d with human sense, that, brought together,
We both might coalesce into one salt,
One homogeneous crystal. Oh! that thou
Wert Carbon, and myself were Hydrogen;
We would unite to form olefiant gas,
Or common coal, or naphtha, would to Heaven
That I were Phosphorus, and thou wert Lime!
And we of Lime composed a Phosphuret.
I’d be content to be Sulphuric Acid,
So that thou might be Soda; In that case
We should be Glauber’s Salt. Wert thou Magnesium
Instead, we’d form the salt that’s named from Epsom.
Couldst thou Potassium be, I Aqua-fortis,
Our happy union should that compound form,
Nitrate of Potash otherwise Saltpetre.
And thus our several natures sweetly blent,
We’d live and love together, until death
Should decompose the fleshly tertium quid,
Leaving our souls to all eternity
   Amalgamated. Sweet, thy name is Briggs
    And mine is Johnson. Wherefore should not we
    Agree to form a Johnsonate of Briggs?

We will! The day, the happy day is nigh,

When Johnson shall with beauteous Briggs combine.

[Analysis of The Chemist To His Love]

Categorical Courtship

A Poem by Anonymous

I sat one night beside a blue-eyed girl,
The fire was out, and so, too, was her mother;
A feeble flame around the lamp did curl,
Making faint shadows, blending in each other:
‘Twas nearly twelve o’clock, too, in November;
She had a shawl on, also, I remember.

Well, I had been to see her every night
For thirteen days, and had a sneaking notion
To pop the question, thinking all was right,
And once or twice had made an awkward motion
To take her hand, and stammer’d, cough’d, and stutter’d,
But, somehow, nothing to the point had utter’d.

I thought this chance too good now to be lost;
I hitched my chair up pretty close beside her,
Drew a longbreath, and then my legs I cross’d,
Bent over, sighed, and for five minutes eyed her:
She looked as if she knew what next was coming,
And with her feet upon the floor was drumming.

I didn’t know how to begin, or where,
I couldn’t speak, the words were always choking;
I scarce could move, I seem’d tied to the chair,
I hardly breathed, ’twas awfully provoking!
The perspiration from each pore came oozing,
My heart, and brain, and limbs their power seem’d losing.

At length I saw a brindle tabby cat
Walk purring up, inviting me to pat her;
An idea came, electric-like at that,
My doubts, like summer clouds, began to scatter,
I seized on tabby, though a scratch she gave me,
And said, “Come, Puss, ask Mary if she’ll have me.”

‘Twas done at once, the murder now was out;
The thing was all explain’d in half a minute.
She blush’d, and, turning pussy-cat about,
Said, “Pussy, tell him ‘yes'”; her foot was in it!
The cat had thus saved me my category,
And here’s the catastrophe of my story.

Beer

A Poem by Anonymous

A man to whom illness was chronic,
     When told that he needed a tonic,
        Said, “Oh, Doctor dear,
        Won’t you please make it beer?”
     “No, no,” said the Doc, “That’s Teutonic”.

The Duel

A Poem by Eugene Field

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
‘T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t’ other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn’t there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went “bow-wow-wow!”
And the calico cat replied “mee-ow!”
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I’m only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, “Oh, dear! what shall we do!”
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw –
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don’t fancy I exaggerate –
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)

[Analysis of The Duel]

The Duel, a reading:

Winter Rainbow

A Poem by John Clare

Thou Winter, thou art keen, intensely keen;
Thy cutting frowns experience bids me know,
For in thy weather days and days I’ve been,
As grinning north-winds horribly did blow,
And pepper’d round my head their hail and snow:
Throughout thy reign ’tis mine each year to prove thee;
And, spite of every storm I’ve beetled in,
With all thy insults, Winter, I do love thee,
Thou half enchantress, like to pictur’d Sin!
Though many frowns thy sparing smiles deform,
Yet when thy sunbeam shrinketh from its shroud,
And thy bright rainbow gilds the purple storm,
I look entranced on thy painted cloud:
And what wild eye with nature’s beauties charm’d,
That hang enraptur’d o’er each ‘witching spell,
Can see thee, Winter, then, and not be warm’d
To breathe thy praise, and say, “I love thee well!”

[Analysis of Winter Rainbow]