Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

The Story Of Grumble Tone - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There was a boy named Grumble Tone, who ran away to sea.
'I'm sick of things on land,' he said, 'as sick as I can be,
A life upon the bounding wave is just the life for me!'
But the seething ocean billows failed to stimulate his mirth,
For he did not like the vessel or the dizzy rolling berth,
And he thought the sea was almost as unpleasant as the earth.

He wandered into foreign lands, he saw each wondrous sight,
But nothing that he heard or saw seemed just exactly right,
And so he journeyed on and on, still seeking for delight.
He talked with kings and ladies grand; he dined in courts, they say,
But always found the people dull and longed to get away
To search for that mysterious land where he should want to stay.

He wandered over all the world, his hair grew white as snow,
He reached that final bourne at last where all of us must go,
But never found the land he sought; the reason would you know?
The reason was that north or south, where'er his steps were bent,
On land or sea, in court or hall, he found but discontent,
For he took his disposition with him, everywhere he went.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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