“Nay,” said the Mayor. “Not
The day climbs high, but sinks at last.
And trees, all spreading to the sun,
Are slain because they cannot run.
The great Sir Stodge, filled full of hate,
Has challenged you to hold debate.
“On Monday, in the Market Square,
He and his Swanks will all be there,
Sharp to the tick at half-past two,
To knock the stuffing out of you.
And if your stuffing so be spread,
Then is the Cause of Quog stone dead.
“In this debate I’d have you find,
With all the cunning of your mind,
Sure victory for Quog’s great Cause,
And swift defeat for Stodge’s laws.”
“But cunning I have none,” quoth Sym.
The Mayor slowly winked at him.
“Ah!” cried his Worship. “Sly;
(Again he drooped his dexter eye)
“I’ve read you thro’; I’ve marked you well.
You’re cunning as an imp from Hell . . .
Nay, keep your temper; for I can
Withal admire a clever man.
“Who rhymes with such a subtle art
May never claim a simple part.
I’ll make of you a Glug of rank,
With something handy in the bank,
And fixed opinions, which, you know,
With fixed deposits always go.
“I’ll give you anything you crave:
A great, high headstone to your grave,
A salary, a scarlet coat,
A handsome wife, a house, a vote,
A title, or a humbled foe.”
But Sym said, “No,” and ever, “No.”
“Then,” shouted Quog, “your aid
For Gosh, and in your country’s name
I bid you fight the Cause of Quog,
Or be for ever named a dog!
The Cause of Quog, the weal of Gosh
Are one! Amen. Down with King Splosh!”
Sym looked his Worship in the eye,
As solemnly he made reply:
“If ’tis to serve my native land,
On Monday I shall be at hand.
But what am I ’mid such great men?”
His Worship winked his eye again . . .
’Twas Monday in the Market Square;
Sir Stodge and all his Swanks were there.
And almost every Glug in Gosh
Had bolted lunch and had a wash
And cleaned his boots, and sallied out
To gloat upon Sir Stodge’s rout.
And certain sly and knowing Glugs,
With sundry nudges, winks and shrugs,
Passed round the hint that up on high,
Behind some window near the sky,
Where he could see yet not be seen,
King Splosh was present with his Queen.
“Glugs,” said the chairman. “Glugs
By order of our good King Splosh,
The Tinker and Sir Stodge shall meet,
And here, without unseemly heat,
Debate the question of the day,
Which is—However, let me say—
“I do not wish to waste your time.
So, first shall speak this man of rhyme;
And, when Sir Stodge has voiced his view,
The Glugs shall judge between the two.
This verdict from the folk of Gosh
Will be accepted by King Splosh.”