John Smith, U.S.A. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 82 pages of information about John Smith, U.S.A..
If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I, What would it matter to me how the time might drag or fly? He would in sweaty anguish toil the days and night away, And still not keep the prowling, growling, howling wolf at bay!  But, with my valiant bottle and my frouzy brevet-bride, And my score of loyal cut-throats standing guard for me outside, What worry of the morrow would provoke a casual sigh If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I?

  If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I,
  To yonder gloomy boulevard at midnight I would hie;
  “Stop, stranger! and deliver your possessions, ere you feel
  The mettle of my bludgeon or the temper of my steel!”
  He should give me gold and diamonds, his snuffbox and his cane—­
  “Now back, my boon companions, to our brothel with our gain!”
  And, back within that brothel, how the bottles they would fly,
  If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I!

If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I, We both would mock the gibbet which the law has lifted high; He in his meager, shabby home, I in my roaring den—­ He with his babes around him, I with my hunted men!  His virtue be his bulwark—­my genius should be mine!—­ “Go fetch my pen, sweet Margot, and a jorum of your wine!”

* * * * *

So would one vainly plod, and one win immortality—­
If I were Francois Villon and Francois Villon I!


  When I was a boy at college,
  Filling up with classic knowledge,
    Frequently I wondered why
  Old Professor Demas Bently
  Used to praise so eloquently
    “Opera Horatii.”

  Toiling on a season longer
  Till my reasoning power got stronger,
    As my observation grew,
  I became convinced that mellow,
  Massic-loving poet fellow
    Horace knew a thing or two

  Yes, we sophomores figured duly
  That, if we appraised him truly,
    Horace must have been a brick;
  And no wonder that with ranting
  Rhymes he went a-gallivanting
    Round with sprightly Lydia Dick!

  For that pink of female gender
  Tall and shapely was, and slender,
    Plump of neck and bust and arms;
  While the raiment that invested
  Her so jealously suggested
    Certain more potential charms.

  Those dark eyes of her that fired him—­
  Those sweet accents that inspired him,
    And her crown of glorious hair—­
  These things baffle my description;
  I should have a fit conniption
    If I tried—­so I forbear!

  May be Lydia had her betters;
  Anyway, this man of letters
    Took that charmer as his pick;
  Glad—­yes, glad I am to know it! 
  I, a fin de siecle poet,
    Sympathize with Lydia Dick!

  Often in my arbor shady
  I fall thinking of that lady
    And the pranks she used to play;
  And I’m cheered—­for all we sages
  Joy when from those distant ages
    Lydia dances down our way.

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John Smith, U.S.A. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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