Cried the King of Gosh, “They shall not escape!
Am I set at naught by a crazed buffoon?”
But in fifty fathoms of thin red tape
The Lord Swank swaddled his portly shape,
Like a large, insane cocoon.
Then round and round and round and round.
The Swanks, the Swanks, the whirling Swanks,
The twirling Swanks they wound—
The swathed and swaddled, molly-coddled
Swanks inanely wound.
Each insect thing that comes in Spring
To gladden this sad earth,
It flits and whirls and pipes and skirls,
It chirps in mocking mirth
A merry song the whole day long
To see the Swank abroad.
But every Glug, whoe’er he be,
Salutes, with grave humility
And deference to noble rank,
The Swank, the Swank, the swollen Swank;
But the South wind blows his clothes awry,
And flings dust in his eye.
So trouble stayed in the land of Gosh;
And the futile Glugs could only gape,
While the Lord High Swank still ruled King Splosh
With laws of blither and rules of bosh,
From out his lair of tape.
And in cocoons that mocked the Glug
The Swanks, the Swanks, the under-Swanks,
The dunder Swanks lay snug.
These most politic, parasitic,
Critic Swanks lay snug.
Then mourn with me for a luckless land,
Oh, weep with me for the slaves of tape!
Where the Lord High Swank still held command,
And wrote new rules in a fair round hand,
And the Glugs saw no escape;
Where tape entwined all Gluggish things,
And the Swank, the Swank, the grievous Swank,
The devious Swank pulled strings—
The perspicacious, contumacious
Swank held all the strings.
The blooms that grow, and, in a row,
Peep o’er each garden fence,
They nod and smile to note his style
Of ponderous pretence;
Each roving bee has fits of glee
When the Swank goes by that way.
But every Glug, he makes his bow,
And says, “Just watch him! Watch him now!
He must have thousands in the bank!
The Swank! The Swank! The holy Swank!”
But the wild winds snatch his kerchief out,
And buffet him about.
VIII. THE SEER
Somewhere or other, ’tis doubtful where,
In the archives of Gosh is a volume rare,
A precious old classic that nobody reads,
And nobody asks for, and nobody heeds;
Which makes it a classic, and famed thro’ the land,
As well-informed persons will quite understand.
’Tis a ponderous work, and ’tis written
For some mystical reason that nobody knows;
And it tells in a style that is terse and correct
Of the rule of the Swanks and its baneful effect
On the commerce of Gosh, on its morals and trade;
And it quotes a grave prophecy somebody made.