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With a "weed" among men or horses verily this is the best,
That you work him in office or dog-cart lightly - but give him no rest.

Pleasant the snaffle of Courtship, improving the manners and carriage;
But the colt who is wise will abstain from the terrible thornbit
of Marriage.

As the thriftless gold of the babul, so is the gold that we spend
On a Derby Sweep, or our neighbor's wife, or the horse that we buy
from a friend.

The ways of a man with a maid be strange, yet simple and tame
To the ways of a man with a horse, when selling or racing that same.

In public Her face turneth to thee, and pleasant Her smile when ye meet.
It is ill. The cold rocks of El-Gidar smile thus on the waves at
their feet.
In public Her face is averted, with anger She nameth thy name.
It is well. Was there ever a loser content with the loss of the game?

If She have spoken a word, remember thy lips are sealed,
And the Brand of the Dog is upon him by whom is the secret revealed.
If She have written a letter, delay not an instant, but burn it.
Tear it in pieces, O Fool, and the wind to her mate shall return it!
If there be trouble to Herward, and a lie of the blackest can clear,
Lie, while thy lips can move or a man is alive to hear.

My Son, if a maiden deny thee and scufflingly bid thee give o'er,
Yet lip meets with lip at the lastward - get out!
She has been there before.
They are pecked on the ear and the chin and the nose
who are lacking in lore.

If we fall in the race, though we win, the hoof-slide is scarred
on the course.
Though Allah and Earth pardon Sin, remaineth forever Remorse.

"By all I am misunderstood!" if the Matron shall say, or the Maid: -
"Alas! I do not understand," my son, be thou nowise afraid.
In vain in the sight of the Bird is the net of the Fowler displayed.

My Son, if I, Hafiz, thy father, take hold of thy knees in my pain,
Demanding thy name on stamped paper, one day or one hour - refrain.
Are the links of thy fetters so light that thou cravest
another man's chain?

Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936]


Them ez wants, must choose.
Them ez hez, must lose.
Them ez knows, won't blab.
Them ez guesses, will gab.
Them ez borrows, sorrows.
Them ez lends, spends.
Them ez gives, lives.
Them ez keeps dark, is deep.
Them ez kin earn; kin keep.
Them ez aims, hits.
Them ez hez, gits.
Them ez waits, win.
Them ez will, kin.

Edward Rowland Sill [1841-1887]


What is an epigram? a dwarfish whole,
Its body brevity, and wit its soul.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge [1772-1834]

- - - - - - - -

As in smooth oil the razor best is whet,
So wit is by politeness sharpest set;
Their want of edge from their offence is seen,
Both pain the heart when exquisitely keen.


- - - - - - - -

"I hardly ever ope my lips," one cries;
"Simonides, what think you of my rule?"
"If you're a fool, I think you're very wise;
If you are wise, I think you are a fool."

Richard Garnett [1835-1906]

- - - - - - - -

Philosopher, whom dost thou most affect,
Stoics austere, or Epicurus' sect?
Friend, 'tis my grave infrangible design
With those to study, and with these to dine.

Richard Garnett [1835-1906]

- - - - - - - -

Joy is the blossom, sorrow is the fruit,
Of human life; and worms are at the root.

Walter Savage Landor [1775-1864]

- - - - - - - -

No truer word, save God's, was ever spoken,
Than that the largest heart is soonest broken.

Walter Savage Landor [1775-1864]

- - - - - - - -

This house, where once a lawyer dwelt,
Is now a smith's. Alas!
How rapidly the iron age
Succeeds the age of brass!

William Erskine [1769-1822]

- - - - - - - -

"I would," says Fox, "a tax devise
That shall not fall on me."
"Then tax receipts," Lord North replies,
"For those you never see."

Richard Brinsley Sheridan [1751-1816]

- - - - - - - -

You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come.
Knock as you please, - there's nobody at home.

Alexander Pope [1688-1744]

- - - - - - - -

If a man who turnips cries
Cry not when his father dies,
'Tis a proof that he would rather
Have a turnip than a father.

Samuel Johnson [1709-1784]

- - - - - - - -

Life is a jest, and all things show it;
I said so once, and now I know it.

John Gay [1685-1732]

- - - - - - - -

I am his Highness' dog at Kew.
Pray, sir, tell me, - whose dog are you?

Alexander Pope [1688-1744]

- - - - - - - -

Sir, I admit your general rule,
That every poet is a fool,
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge [1772-1834]

- - - - - - - -

Damis, an author cold and weak,
Thinks as a critic he's divine;
Likely enough; we often make
Good vinegar of sorry wine.


- - - - - - - -

Swans sing before they die - 'twere no bad thing
Did certain persons die before they sing.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge [1772-1834]

- - - - - - - -

He who in his pocket hath no money
Should, in his mouth, be never without honey.


- - - - - - - -

Nobles and heralds, by your leave,
Here lies what once was Matthew Prior,
The son of Adam and of Eve;
Can Bourbon or Nassau claim higher?

Matthew Prior [1664-1721]

- - - - - - - -

Here lie I, Martin Elginbrodde;
Hae mercy o' my soul, Lord God,
As I wad do were I Lord God,
And ye were Martin Elginbrodde.

George Macdonald [1824-1905]

- - - - - - - -

Who killed Kildare? Who dared Kildare to kill?
Death killed Kildare - who dare kill whom he will.

Jonathan Swift [1667-1745]

- - - - - - - -

With death doomed to grapple,
Beneath the cold slab he
Who lied in the chapel
Now lies in the abbey.

Byron's epitaph for Pitt

- - - - - - - -

When doctrines meet with general approbation,
It is not heresy, but reformation.

David Garrick [1717-1779]

- - - - - - - -

Treason doth never prosper; what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

John Harington [1561-1612]

- - - - - - - -

God bless the King - I mean the faith's defender!
God bless (no harm in blessing!) the Pretender!
But who pretender is, or who is King -
God bless us all! - that's quite another thing.

John Byrom [1692-1763]

- - - - - - - -

'Tis highly rational, we can't dispute,
The Love, being naked, should promote a suit:
But doth not oddity to him attach
Whose fire's so oft extinguished by a match?

Richard Garnett [1835-1906]

- - - - - - - -

"Come, come," said Tom's father, "at your time of life,
There's no longer excuse for thus playing the rake. -
It is time you should think, boy, of taking a wife." -
Why, so it is, father, - whose wife shall I take?"

Thomas Moore [1779-1852]

- - - - - - - -

When Eve upon the first of men
The apple pressed with specious cant,
O, what a thousand pities then
That Adam was not Adam-ant!

Thomas Moore [1779-1852]

- - - - - - - -

Whilst Adam slept, Eve from his side arose:
Strange! his first sleep should be his last repose!


- - - - - - - -

"What? rise again with all one's bones,"
Quoth Giles, "I hope you fib:
I trusted, when I went to Heaven,
To go without my rib.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge [1772-1834]

- - - - - - - -

Here lies my wife: here let her lie!
Now she's at rest, and so am I.

John Dryden [1631-1700]

- - - - - - - -

After such years of dissension and strife,
Some wonder that Peter should weep for his wife;
But his tears on her grave are nothing surprising, -
He's laying her dust, for fear of its rising.

Thomas Hood [1799-1845]


I change, and so do women too;
But I reflect, which women never do.



A lovely young lady I mourn in my rhymes:
She was pleasant, good-natured, and civil sometimes.
Her figure was good: she had very fine eyes,
And her talk was a mixture of foolish and wise.
Her adorers were many, and one of them said,
"She waltzed rather well! It's a pity she's dead!"

George John Cayley [? ]


And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots
And the Cabots talk only to God.

John Collins Bossidy [1860-1928]


Here's to the town of New Haven,
The home of the Truth and the Light,
Where God talks to Jones in the very same tones
That He uses with Hadley and Dwight!

Frederick Scheetz Jones [1862-


We are very slightly changed
From the semi-apes who ranged
India's prehistoric clay;
Whoso drew the longest bow,
Ran his brother down, you know,
As we run men down to-day.
"Dowb," the first of all his race,
Met the Mammoth face to face
On the lake or in the cave,
Stole the steadiest canoe,
Ate the quarry others slew,
Died - and took the finest grave.

When they scratched the reindeer-bone,
Someone made the sketch his own,
Filched it from the artist - then,
Even in those early days,
Won a simple Viceroy's praise
Through the toil of other men.
Ere they hewed the Sphinx's visage,
Favoritism governed kissage,
Even as it does in this age.

Who shall doubt "the secret hid
Under Cheops' pyramid"
Was that the contractor did
Cheops out of several millions?
Or that Joseph's sudden rise
To Comptroller of Supplies
Was a fraud of monstrous size
On King Pharaoh's swart Civilians?

Thus, the artless songs I sing
Do not deal with anything
New or never said before.
As it was in the beginning,
Is to-day official sinning,
And shall be for evermore!

Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936]



One for her Club and her own Latch-key fights,
Another wastes in Study her good Nights.
Ah, take the Clothes and let the Culture go,
Nor heed the grumble of the Women's Rights!

Look at the Shop-girl all about us - "Lo,
The Wages of a month," she says, "I blow
Into a Hat, and when my hair is waved,
Doubtless my Friend will take me to the Show."

And she who saved her coin for Flannels red,
And she who caught Pneumonia instead,
Will both be Underground in Fifty Years,
And Prudence pays no Premium to the dead.

Th' exclusive Style you set your heart upon
Gets to the Bargain counters - and anon,
Like monograms on a Saleslady's tie,
Cheers but a moment - soon for you 'tis gone.

Think, in the sad Four Hundred's gilded halls,
Whose endless Leisure ev'n themselves appalls,
How Ping-pong raged so high - then faded out
To those far Suburbs that still chase its Balls.

They say Sixth Avenue and the Bowery keep
The dernier cri that once was far from cheap;
Green veils, one season chic - Department stores
Mark down in vain - no profit shall they reap.

I sometimes think that never lasts so long
The Style as when it starts a bit too strong;
That all the Pompadours the parterre boasts
Some Chorus-girl began, with Dance and Song.

And this Revival of the Chignon low
That fills the most of us with helpless Woe,
Ah, criticise it Softly! for who knows
What long-necked Peeress had to wear it so!

Ah, my beloved, try each Style you meet;
To-day brooks no loose ends, you must be neat.
Tomorrow! why tomorrow you may be
Wearing it down your back like Marguerite!

For some we once admired, the Very Best
That ever a French hand-boned Corset prest,
Wore what they used to call Prunella Boots,
And put on Nightcaps ere they went to rest.

And we that now make fun of Waterfalls
They wore, and whom their Crinoline appalls,
Ourselves shall from old dusty Fashion plates
Assist our Children in their Costume balls.

Ah, make the most of what we yet may wear,
Before we grow so old that we don't care!
Before we have our Hats made all alike,
Sans Plumes, sans Wings, sans Chiffon, and - sans Hair!

Alike to her who Dines both Loud and Long,
Or her who Banting shuns the Dinner-gong,
Some Doctor from his Office chair will shout,
"It makes no Difference - both of you are Wrong!"

Why, all the Health-Reformers who discussed
High Heels and Corsets learnedly are thrust
Square-toed and Waistless forth; their Duds are scorned,
And Venus might as well have been a Bust.

Myself when slim did eagerly frequent
Delsarte and Ling, and heard great Argument
Of muscles trained to Hold me up, but still
Spent on my Modiste what I'd always spent!

With walking Clubs I did the best I could;
With my own Feet I tramped my Ten Miles, good;
And this was All that I got out of it -
I ate much more for Dinner than I should.


And fear not lest your Rheumatism seize
The Joy of Life from other people's Sprees;
The Art will not have Perished - au contraire,
Posterity will practise it with Ease!

When you and I have ceased Champagne to Sup,
Be sure there will be More to Keep it Up;
And while we pat Old Tabby by the fire,
Full many a Girl will lead her Brindled Pup.

Josephine Daskam Bacon [1876-

After Goldsmith

When lovely woman wants a favor,
And finds, too late, that man won't bend,
What earthly circumstance can save her
From disappointment in the end?

The only way to bring him over,
The last experiment to try,
Whether a husband or a lover,
If he have feeling is - to cry.

Phoebe Cary [1824-1871]


There is a river clear and fair,
'Tis neither broad nor narrow;
It winds a little here and there -
It winds about like any hare;
And then it holds as straight a course
As, on the turnpike road, a horse,
Or, through the air, an arrow.

The trees that grow upon the shore
Have grown a hundred years or more;
So long there is no knowing:
Old Daniel Dobson does not know
When first those trees began to grow;
But still they grew, and grew, and grew,
As if they'd nothing else to do,
But ever must be growing.

The impulses of air and sky
Have reared their stately heads so high,
And clothed their boughs with green;
Their leaves the dews of evening quaff, -
And when the wind blows loud and keen,
I've seen the jolly timbers laugh,
And shake their sides with merry glee -
Wagging their heads in mockery.

Fixed are their feet in solid earth
Where winds can never blow;
But visitings of deeper birth
Have reached their roots below.
For they have gained the river's brink
And of the living waters drink.

There's little Will, a five years' child -
He is my youngest boy;
To look on eyes so fair and wild,
It is a very joy.
He hath conversed with sun and shower,
And dwelt with every idle flower,
As fresh and gay as them.
He loiters with the briar-rose, -
The blue-bells are his playfellows,
That dance upon their slender stem.

And I have said, my little Will,
Why should he not continue still
A thing of Nature's rearing?
A thing beyond the world's control -
A living vegetable soul, -
No human sorrow fearing.

It were a blessed sight to see
That child become a willow-tree,
His brother trees among.
He'd be four times as tall as me,
And live three times as long.

Catherine M. Fanshawe [1765-1834]

After Wordsworth

I marvelled why a simple child,
That lightly draws its breath,
Should utter groans so very wild,
And look as pale as death.

Adopting a parental tone,
I asked her why she cried;
The damsel answered with a groan,
"I've got a pain inside!

"I thought it would have sent me mad
Last night about eleven."
Said I, "What is it makes you bad?
How many apples have you had?"
She answered, "Only seven!"

"And are you sure you took no more,
My little maid?" quoth I;
"Oh, please, sir, mother gave me four,
But they were in a pie!"

"If that's the case," I stammered out,
"Of course you've had eleven."
The maiden answered with a pout,
"I ain't had more nor seven!"

I wondered hugely what she meant,
And said, "I'm bad at riddles;
But I know where little girls are sent
For telling taradiddles.

"Now, if you don't reform," said I,
"You'll never go to heaven."
But all in vain; each time I try,
That little idiot makes reply,
"I ain't had more nor seven!"

To borrow Wordsworth's name was wrong,
Or slightly misapplied;
And so I'd better call my song
"Lines after Ache-inside."

Henry Sambrooke Leigh [1837-1883]

After Wordsworth

Poor Lucy Lake was overgrown,
But somewhat underbrained.
She did not know enough, I own,
To go in when it rained.

Yet Lucy was constrained to go;
Green bedding, - you infer.
Few people knew she died, but oh,
The difference to her!

Newton Mackintosh [1858-

After Wordsworth

I journeyed, on a winter's day,
Across the lonely wold;
No bird did sing upon the spray,
And it was very cold.

I had a coach with horses four,
Three white (though one was black),
And on they went the common o'er,
Nor swiftness did they lack.

A little girl ran by my side,
And she was pinched and thin.
"Oh, please, sir, do give me a ride!
I'm fetching mother's gin."

"Enter my coach, sweet child," said I,
"For you shall ride with me;
And I will get you your supply
Of mother's eau-de-vie."

The publican was stern and cold,
And said: "Her mother's score
Is writ, as you shall soon behold,
Behind the bar-room door!"

I blotted out the score with tears,
And paid the money down;
And took the maid of thirteen years
Back to her mother's town.

And though the past with surges wild
Fond memories may sever,
The vision of that happy child
Will leave my spirits never!

Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936]

From "Alice in Wonderland"
After Southey

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head -
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door -
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment - one shilling the box -
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak -
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose -
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!"

Lewis Carroll [1832-1898]

After Campbell

There came to port last Sunday night
The queerest little craft,
Without an inch of rigging on;
I looked and looked - and laughed!
It seemed so curious that she
Should cross the Unknown water,
And moor herself within my room -
My daughter! O, my daughter!

Yet by these presents witness all
She's welcome fifty times,
And comes consigned in hope and love -
And common-metre rhymes.
She has no manifest but this;
No flag floats o'er the water;
She's too new for the British Lloyds -
My daughter! O, my daughter!

Ring out, wild bells - and tame ones too;
Ring out the lover's moon.
Ring in the little worsted socks,
Ring in the bib and spoon.
Ring out the muse, ring in the nurse,
Ring in the milk and water.
Away with paper, pen, and ink -
My daughter! O, my daughter!

George Washington Cable [1844-1925]

After Moore

'Twas ever thus from childhood's hour
My fondest hopes would not decay:
I never loved a tree or flower
Which was the first to fade away!
The garden, where I used to delve
Short-frocked, still yields me pinks in plenty;
The pear-tree that I climbed at twelve,
I see still blossoming, at twenty.

I never nursed a dear gazelle.
But I was given a paroquet -
How I did nurse him if unwell!
He's imbecile, but lingers yet.
He's green, with an enchanting tuft;
He melts me with his small black eye:
He'd look inimitable stuffed,
And knows it - but he will not die!

I had a kitten - I was rich
In pets - but all too soon my kitten
Became a full-sized cat, by which
I've more than once been scratched and bitten;
And when for sleep her limbs she curled
One day beside her untouched plateful,
And glided calmly from the world,
I freely own that I was grateful.

And then I bought a dog - a queen!
Ah, Tiny, dear departing pug!
She lives, but she is past sixteen,
And scarce can crawl across the rug.
I loved her beautiful and kind;
Delighted in her pert Bow-wow:
But now she snaps if you don't mind;
'Twere lunacy to love her now.

I used to think, should e'er mishap
Betide my crumple-visaged Ti,
In shape of prowling thief, or trap,
Or coarse bull-terrier - I should die.
But ah! disasters have their use;
And life might e'en be too sunshiny:
Nor would I make myself a goose,
If some big dog should swallow Tiny.

Charles Stuart Calverley [1831-1884]

After Moore

I never reared a young gazelle,
(Because, you see, I never tried);
But had it known and loved me well,
No doubt the creature would have died.
My rich and aged Uncle John
Has known me long and loves me well
But still persists in living on -
I would he were a young gazelle.

I never loved a tree or flower;
But, if I had, I beg to say
The blight, the wind, the sun, or shower
Would soon have withered it away.
I've dearly loved my Uncle John,
From childhood to the present hour,
And yet he will go living on -
I would he were a tree or flower!

Henry Sambrooke Leigh [1837-1883]

After Byron

Dear Mr. Editor: I wish to say -
If you will not be angry at my, writing it -
But I've been used, since childhood's happy day,
When I have thought of something, to inditing it;
I seldom think of things; and, by the way,
Although this meter may not be exciting, it
Enables one to be extremely terse,
Which is not what one always is in verse.

I used to know a man, - such things befall
The observant wayfarer through Fate's domain -
He was a man, take him for all in all,
We shall not look upon his like again;
I know that statement's not original;
What statement is, since Shakespeare? or, since Cain,
What murder? I believe 'twas Shakespeare said it, or
Perhaps it may have been your Fighting Editor.

Though why an Editor should fight, or why
A Fighter should abase himself to edit,
Are problems far too difficult and high
For me to solve with any sort of credit.
Some greatly more accomplished man than I
Must tackle them: let's say then Shakespeare said it;
And, if he did not, Lewis Morris may
(Or even if he did). Some other day,

When I have nothing pressing to impart,
I should not mind dilating on this matter.
I feel its import both in head and heart,
And always did, - especially the latter.
I could discuss it in the busy mart
Or on the lonely housetop; hold! this chatter
Diverts me from my purpose. To the point:
The time, as Hamlet said, is out of joint,

And perhaps I was born to set it right, -
A fact I greet with perfect equanimity.
I do not put it down to "cursed spite,"
I don't see any cause for cursing in it. I
Have always taken very great delight
In such pursuits since first I read divinity.
Whoever will may write a nation's songs
As long as I'm allowed to right its wrongs.

What's Eton but a nursery of wrong-righters,
A mighty mother of effective men;
A training ground for amateur reciters,
A sharpener of the sword as of the pen;
A factory of orators and fighters,
A forcing-house of genius? Now and then
The world at large shrinks back, abashed and beaten,
Unable to endure the glare of Eton.

I think I said I knew a man: what then?
I don't suppose such knowledge is forbid.
We nearly all do, more or less, know men, -
Or think we do; nor will a man get rid
Of that delusion while he wields a pen.
But who this man was, what, if aught, he did,
Nor why I mentioned him, I do not know,
Nor what I "wished to say" a while ago.

James Kenneth Stephen [1859-1892]

After Charles Wolfe

Not a sou had he got - not a guinea or note -
And he looked confoundedly flurried,
As he bolted away without paying his shot,

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