Well, well, old Father Christmas, is it you,
With your thick neck and thin pretense of virtue?
Less redness in the nose-nay, even some blue
Would not, I think, particularly hurt you.
When seen close to, not mounted in your car,
You look the drunkard and the pig you are.
O nonsense, parson-tell me not they thrive
And jubilate who follow your dictation.
The good are the unhappiest lot alive
I know they are from careful observation.
It was a bruised and battered chap
The victim of some dire mishap,
Who sat upon a rock and spent
His breath in this ungay lament:
Ben Truman, you're a genius and can write,
Though one would not suspect it from your looks.
You lack that certain spareness which is quite
Distinctive of the persons who make books.
You show the workmanship of Stanford's cooks
'Tis Master Fitch, the editor;
He takes an holiday.
Now wherefore, venerable sir,
So resolutely gay?
I turned my eyes upon the Future's scroll
And saw its pictured prophecies unroll.
I saw that magical life-laden train
Flash its long glories o'er Nebraska's plain.
Once Moses (in Scripture the story is told)
Entreated the favor God's face to behold.
Compassion divine the petition denied
Lest vision be blasted and body be fried.
If the wicked gods were willing
(Pray it never may be true!)
That a universal chilling
Of the sentiment of loving,
'Twas a weary-looking mortal, and he wandered near the portal
Of the melancholy City of the Discontented Dead.
He was pale and worn exceeding and his manner was unheeding,
As if it could not matter what he did nor what he said.
Good friend, it is with deep regret I note
The latest, strangest turning of your coat;
Though any way you wear that mental clout
The seamy side seems always to be out.
Who could have thought that you would e'er sustain
The Southern shotgun's arbitrary reign!