“You see, when an anchorite bows
To the yoke of intentional sin—
If the state of the country allows,
Homogeny always steps in.
“It’s a highly aesthetical
As any mere ploughboy can tell”—
“Of course,” replied puzzled old Pond.
“I see,” said old Tommy Morell.
“Very good then,” continued
“When its fooled to the top of its bent,
With a sweep of a Damocles sword
The web of intention is rent.
“That’s patent to all of us
As any mere schoolboy can tell.”
Pond answered, “Of course it’s quite clear;”
And so did that humbug Morell.
“It’s tone esoteric in force—
I trust that I make myself clear?”—
Morell only answered “Of course,”—
While Pond slowly muttered, “Hear, hear.”
Pellucid as porphyry cell—
Is based on a principle wise.”
“Quite so,” exclaimed Pond and Morell.
“From what I have said, you will
That I couldn’t wed either—in fine,
By nature’s unchanging decree
Your daughters could never be mine.
“Go home to your pigs and your ricks,
My hands of the matter I’ve rinsed.”
So they take up their hats and their sticks,
And exeunt ambo, convinced.
Only a dancing girl, With an unromantic style, With borrowed color and curl, With fixed mechanical smile, With many a hackneyed wile, With ungrammatical lips, And corns that mar her trips!
Hung from the “flies” in air,
She acts a palpable lie,
She’s as little a fairy there
As unpoetical I!
I hear you asking, Why—
Why in the world I sing
This tawdry, tinselled thing?
No airy fairy she,
As she hangs in arsenic green,
From a highly impossible tree,
In a highly impossible scene
(Herself not over clean).
For fays don’t suffer, I’m told,
From bunions, coughs, or cold.
And stately dames that bring
Their daughters there to see,
Pronounce the “dancing thing”
No better than she should be.
With her skirt at her shameful knee,
And her painted, tainted phiz:
Ah, matron, which of us is?
(And, in sooth, it oft occurs
That while these matrons sigh,
Their dresses are lower than hers,
And sometimes half as high;
And their hair is hair they buy,
And they use their glasses, too,
In a way she’d blush to do.)
But change her gold and green
For a coarse merino gown,
And see her upon the scene
Of her home, when coaxing down
Her drunken father’s frown,
In his squalid, cheerless den:
She’s a fairy truly, then!