I have a tincture—” Said ye first, “Your tincture cannot touch
A case as difficult as th’s, my pills are better much.”
“Your pills, sir, are too violent.” “Your tonic is too weak.”
“As I have said, sir, in th’s case—” “Permit me, sir, to speak.”
And so they argued long and high, and on, and on, and on,
Until they lost their tempers, and an hour or more had gone.
But long before their arguments ye question did decide,
Ye Crow, not waiting for ye end, incontinently died.
[Illustration: Play & Earnest. This is a full page illustrated poem depicting the wind in fairy form first playing with the tree and then as a tempest.]
Over dewy hill and lea
Rushed a mad-cap breeze at play,
And the daisies, like the bright
Stars at night,
Danced and twinkled in its way.
Now, a tree called to the breeze,
Will you come and have a play?”
And the wind upon its way
Stopped to play.
Then the leaves, with sudden shiver,
Met the light
Presently the breeze grew stronger,
For it cared to play no longer.
So it flung the limbs about,
And it tossed the leaves in rout,
Till it roared, as though with thunder.
Then the poor tree groaned and bent,
And the breeze,—a tempest,—rent
Leaves and branches from its crowns
Till, at last, it flung it down,
Stripped, and bare, and torn asunder.
[Illustration: The accident of birth. This is a full page illustrated poem with pictures of: “Ye King” praying, “Ye Saint” holding the baby with stork standing by, “Ye Stork” with baby in flight, and “Ye Cobbler” at work.]
THE ACCIDENT OF BIRTH.
Saint Nicholas used to send, so
I am told,
All new-born babes by storks, in days of old.
King Friedrich Max of Stultzenmannenkim,
For many years unto the Saint did pray,
That he would send unto his Queen and him,
A baby boy, to be the King some day.
At last the Saint the King’s petition heard,
And called to him a sober long-legged bird.
Quoth he, “Good Wilhelm Stork (such was its name),
Here is a baby boy to take away.
It is for Fritz; so bear him to the same,
Or rather to his Queen, without delay.
For one grows weary when one always hears
The same words daily dinning in one’s ears.”
Now Wilhelm Stork was old, and dull of wits,
For age not always sharpens wisdom much,
So what does he but bear the gift to Fritz
The cobbler, who had half a score of such.
And so the baby, through a blunder, passed
From being first of all, unto—ye last.