And the King said, “Haw!” and the Queen
Our drawing-room now is a heavenly show
Of large overmantels, and whatnots, and chairs,
And a statue of Splosh at the head of the stairs!”
But a Glug stood up with a cast in his eye,
And he said, “Far too many baubles we buy;
With all the Gosh factories closing their doors,
And importers’ warehouses lining our shores.”
But the Glugs cried, “Down with such meddlesome fools!
What did our grandpas lay down in their rules?”
And the Knight, Sir Stodge, he opened his Book:
“To Cheapness,” he said, “was the road they took.”
Then every Glug who was not too fat
Turned seventeen handsprings, and jumped on his hat.
They fined the Glug with the cast in his eye
For looking both ways—which he did not deny—
And for having no visible precedent, which
Is a crime in the poor and a fault in the rich.
So the Glugs continued, with greed and glee,
To buy cheap clothing, and pills, and tea;
Till every Glug in the land of Gosh
Owned three clean shirts and a fourth in the wash.
But they all grew idle, and fond of ease,
And easy to swindle, and hard to please;
And the voice of Joi was a lonely voice,
When he railed at Gosh for its foolish choice.
But the great King grinned, and the good Queen gushed,
As the goods of the Ogs were madly rushed.
And the Knight, Sir Stodge, with a wave of his hand,
Declared it a happy and prosperous land.
IV. SYM, THE SON OF JOI
Now Joi, the rebel, he had a son
In far, far Gosh where the tall trees wave.
Said Joi: “In Gosh there shall yet be one
To scorn this life of a self-made slave;
To spurn the law of the Knight, Sir Stodge,
And end the rule of the great King Splosh;
Who shall warn the Glugs of their crafty dodge,
And at last bring peace, sweet peace, to Gosh.”
Said he: “Whenever the kind sun showers
His golden treasure on grateful flowers,
With upturned faces and hearts bowed low,
The Glugs shall know what the wild things know.”
Said he: “Wherever the broad fields smile,
They shall walk with clean minds, free of guile;
They shall scoff aloud at the call of Greed,
And turn to their labours and never heed.”
So Joi had a son, and his name was Sym;
And his eyes were wide as the eyes of Truth;
And there came to the wondering mind of him
Long thoughts of the riddle that vexes youth.
And, “Father,” he said, “in the mart’s loud din
Is there aught of pleasure? Do some find joy?”
But his father tilted the beardless chin,
And looked in the eyes of the questing boy.
Said he: “Whenever the fields are green,
Lie still, where the wild rose fashions a screen,
While the brown thrush calls to his love-wise mate,
And know what they profit who trade with Hate.”
Said he: “Whenever the great skies spread,
In the beckoning vastness overhead,
A tent for the blue wren building a nest,
Then, down in the heart of you, learn what’s best.”