He’ll git up kinder calm and slow, and blow
his nose real loud,
And put his hands behind beneath his coat,
Then kinder balance on his toes and look ’round sort er proud
And give a big “Ahem!” ter clear his throat;
And then he’ll say: “Dear scholars, I am glad ter see yer here,
A-drinkin’—er—the crystal fount of lore;
Here with your books, and—er—and—er—your teacher kind and dear,
And with—ahem—er—as I said before.”
We have ter listen awful hard ter every word of his
And watch him jest like kittens do a rat,
And laugh at every joke he makes, don’t care how old it is,
’Cause he can boss the teacher,—think of that!
I useter say, when I growed up I ’d be a circus chap
And drive two lions hitched up like a span;
But, honest, more I think of it, I b’lieve the bestest snap
Is jest ter be a school-committee man.
* * * * *
South Pokus is religious,—that’s
the honest, livin’ truth;
South Pokus folks are pious,—man and woman, maid and youth;
And they listen every Sunday, though it rains or snows or shines,
In their seven shabby churches, ter their seven poor divines,
Who dispense the balm and comfort that the thirstin’ sperit needs,
By a-fittin’ of the gospel ter their seven different creeds,
Each one sure his road ter Heaven is the only sartin way,—
Fer South Pokus is religious, as I started off ter say.
Now the Pokus population is nine hundred, more or
Which, in one big congregation, would be quite a church, I guess,
And do lots of good, I reckon; but yer see it couldn’t be,—
Long’s one’s tweedledum was diff’rent from the other’s tweedledee.
So the Baptists they are Baptists, though the church is swamped in debt,
And the Orthodox is rigid, though expenses can’t be met,
And the twenty Presbyterians ’ll be Calvinists or bust,—
Fer South Pokus is religious, as I said along at fust.
And the Methodist is buried, when his time comes ’round
In the little weedy graveyard where no other sect can lie,
And at Second Advent socials, every other Wednesday night,
No one’s ever really welcome but a Second Adventite;
While the Unitarian brother, as he walks the village streets,
Seldom bows unless another Unitarian he meets;
And there’s only Univers’lists in a Univers’list’s store,—
Fer South Pokus is religious, as I think I said before.
I thought I’d read that Jesus come ter do the
whole world good,—
Come ter bind the Jew and Gentile in a lovin’ brotherhood;
But it seems that I’m mistaken, and I haven’t read it right,
And the text of “Love your neighbor” must be somewhere written “Fight”;
But I want ter tell yer, church folks, and ter put it to yer strong,
While you’re fighting Old Nick’s fellers pull tergether right along:
So yer’d better stop your squabblin’, be united if yer can,
Fer the Pokus way of doin’ ain’t no use ter God or man.