“Now, teach me, little blue wren,” said
“’Tis you can unravel this riddle for me.
I am ’mazed by the gifts of this kindly earth.
Which of them all has the greatest worth?”
He flirted his tail as he answered then,
He bobbed and he bowed to his coy little hen:
“Why, sunlight and worms!” said the little blue wren.
VI. THE END OF JOI
They climbed the trees . . . As was told before,
The Glugs climbed trees in the days of yore,
When the oldes tree in the land to-day
Was a tender little seedling—Nay,
This climbing habit was old, so old
That even the cheeses could not have told
When the past Glug people first began
To give their lives to the climbing plan.
And the legend ran
That the art was old as the mind of man.
And even the mountains old and hoar,
And the billows that broke on Gosh’s shore
Since the far-off neolithic night,
All knew the Glugs quite well by sight.
And they tell of a perfectly easy way:
For yesterday’s Glug is the Glug of to-day.
And they climb the trees when the thunder rolls,
To solemnly salve their shop-worn souls.
For they fear the coals
That threaten to frizzle their shop-worn souls.
They climbed the trees. ’Tis a bootless
To say so over again, or ask
The cause of it all, or the reason why
They never felt happier up on high.
For Joi asked why; and Joi was a fool,
And never a Glug of the fine old school
With fixed opinions and Sunday clothes,
And the habit of looking beyond its nose,
And treating foes
With the calm contempt of the One Who Knows.
And every spider who heaves a line
And trusts to his luck when the day is fine,
Or reckless swings from an awful height,
He knows the Glugs quite well by sight.
“You can never mistake them,” he will say;
“For they always act in a Gluglike way.
And they climb the trees when the glass points fair,
With circumspection and proper care,
For they fear to tear
The very expensive clothes they wear.”
But Joi was a Glug with a twisted mind
Of the nasty, meditative kind.
He’d meditate on the modes of Gosh,
And dared to muse on the acts of Splosh;
He dared to speak, and, worse than that,
He spoke out loud, and he said it flat.
“Why climb?” said he. “When you reach the top
There’s nowhere to go, and you have to stop,
Unless you drop.
And the higher you are the worse you flop.”
And every cricket that chirps at eve,
And scoffs at the folly of fools who grieve,
And the furtive mice who revel at night,
All know the Glugs quite well by sight.
For, “Why,” they say, " in the land of Gosh
There is no one else who will bow to Splosh.
And they climb the trees when the rain pelts down
And feeds the gutters that thread the town;
For they fear to drown,
When floods are frothy and waters brown.”