Robert Kirkland Kernighan

(25 April 1854 – 3 November 1926 / Ontario)

The Popular Thing To Do - Poem by Robert Kirkland Kernighan

Smith has got into trouble :

There 's a terrible hullabaloo !
And now the quandary's bothering me :

What's the popular thing to do?
For many have classed him,
With purpose to blast him,

As being a full-fledged rogue ;
His cronies reject him,
And try to connect him

With ev'ry low crime in vogue;
For Smith has got into trouble :

There 's a terrible hullabaloo !
And now the quandary 's bothering me :

What 's the popular thing to do ?

There 's a few who defend him,
And try to befriend him ;

There 's not very many in town ;
With love they are dowered :
They say he 's a coward

Who 'll kick a poor chap when he 's down.
There 's the big human rattlers,
The gossips and tattlers,

Who strike at your heel as you go ;
There 's the good and religious,
With speeches prodigious,

Repeating : ' I told you so !'
For Smith has got into trouble :

There 's a terrible hullabaloo !
And now the quandary 's bothering me :

What 's the popular thing to do?

Will I go and denounce him
A rascal pronounce him,

And point with the mud-pelting crew?

But ere I will shout
I 'll try and find out

What 's the popular thing to do.
For I 'd feel rather meanly
If he popped up serenely,

And proved he was innocent quite ;
Such things have occurred,
So I won't say a word

Till I find if he 's wrong or he 's right.
For Smith has got into trouble :

There 's a terrible hullabaloo !
And now the quandary 's bothering me :

What 's the popular thing to do ?

My head is quite level :
Good Lord or good devil !

On either I 'm ready to call ;
If he does n't get off
I 'm ready to scoff ;

If he does I will cheer him, that 's all.
If they crush him I 'll hiss him,
If they do n't I will kiss him,

And at his reception attend ;
If he 's guilty I 'll chase him,
If not I 'll embrace him

And swear I was always his friend.
For Smith has got into trouble :

There 's a terrible hullabaloo !
And now the quandary 's bothering me :

What 's the popular thing to do?


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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2012



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