Ellis Parker Butler
Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; Iii:
Poem by Ellis Parker Butler
Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; III: On Laziness And Its Resultant Ills
There was a man in New York City
(His name was George Adolphus Knight)
So soft of heart he wept with pity
To see our language and its plight.
He mourned to see it sorely goaded
With silent letters left and right;
These from his own name he unloaded
And wrote it Georg Adolfus Nit.
Six other men in that same city
Who longed to see a Spelling Heaven
Formed of themselves a strong committee
And asked Georg Nit to make it seven.
He joined the other six with pleasure,
Proud such important men to know,
Agreeing that their first great measure
Should be to shorten the word though.
But G. Adolfus Nit was lazy;
He dilly-dallied every day;
His life was dreamy, slow and hazy,
And indolent in every way.
On Monday morn at nine precisely
The six reformers (Nit not there)
Prepared to simplify though nicely,
And each was eager for his share.
Smith bit the h off short and ate it;
Griggs from the thoug chewed off the g;
Brown snapped off u to masticate it,
And tho alone was left for three.
Delancy’s teeth broke o off quickly;
From th Billings took his t,
And then the h, albeit prickly,
Was shortly swallowed by McGee.
This done, the six lay back in plenty,
Well fed, they picked their teeth and smiled,
And lazy Nit, about 10:20,
Strolled in, as careless as a child.
'Well, boys,' he said, 'where’s the collation?
I’m hungry, let us eat some though.'
'All gone!' they said, and then Starvation,
(Who is not lazy) laid Nit low.
Nit trembled, gasped, and, as the phrase is,
Cashed in his checks, gave up his breath,
And turned his toes up to the daisies—
His laziness had caused his death!
Spelling reformers should make haste.
If each reformer wants a taste.
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