So Joi had a son, and his name was Sym;
Far from the ken of the great King Splosh.
And small was the Glugs’ regard of him,
Mooning along in the streets of Gosh.
But many a creature by field and ford
Shared in the schooling of that strange boy,
Dreaming and planning to gather and hoard
Knowledge of all things precious to Joi.
V. THE GROWTH OF SYM
Now Sym was a Glug; and ’tis mentioned so
That the tale reads perfectly plain as we go.
In his veins ran blood of that stupid race
Of docile folk, who inhabit the place
Called Gosh, sad Gosh, where the tall trees sigh
With a strange, significant sort of cry
When the gloaming creeps and the wind is high.
When the deep shades creep and the wind is high
The trees bow low as the gods ride by:
Gods of the gloaming, who ride on the breeze,
Stooping to heaften the birds and the trees.
But each dull Glug sits down by his door,
And mutters, " ’Tis windy!” and nothing more,
Like the long-dead Glugs in the days of yore.
When Sym was born there was much to-do,
And his parents thought him a joy to view;
But folk not prejudiced saw the Glug,
As his nurse remarked, “In the cut of his mug.”
For he had their hair, and he had their eyes,
And the Glug expression of pained surprise,
And their predilection for pumpkin pies.
And his parents’ claims were a deal denied
By his maiden aunt on his mother’s side,
A tall Glug lady of fifty-two
With a slight moustache of an auburn hue.
“Parental blither!” she said quite flat.
“He’s an average Glug; and he’s red and fat!
And exceedingly fat and red at that!”
But the father, joi, when he gazed on Sym,
Dreamed great and wonderful things for him.
Said he, “If the mind of a Glug could wake
Then, Oh, what a wonderful Glug he’d make!
We shall teach this laddie to play life’s game
With a different mind and a definite aim:
A Glug in appearance, yet not the same.”
But the practical aunt said, “Fudge! You
We’ll pack up his dinner and send him to school.
He shall learn about two-times and parsing and capes,
And how to make money with inches on tapes.
We’ll apprentice him then to the drapery trade,
Where, I’ve heard it reported, large profits are made;
Besides, he can sell us cheap buttons and braid.”
So poor young Sym, he was sent to school,
Where the first thing taught is the Golden Rule.
“Do unto others,” the teacher said . . .
Then suddenly stopped and scratched his head.
“You may look up the rest in a book,” said he.
“At present it doesn’t occur to me;
But do it, whatever it happens to be.”
“And now,” said the teacher, “the
day’s task brings
Consideration of practical things.
If a man makes a profit of fifteen pounds
On one week’s takings from two milk rounds,
How many . . .” And Sym went dreaming away
To the sunlit lands where the field-mice play,
And wrens hold revel the livelong day.