Ho, ye lovers, list to me;
Warning words have I for thee:
Give ye heed, hefore ye wed,
To this thing Sir Chaucer said:
"Love wol not be constrained by maistrie,
When maistrie cometh, the god of love anon
Beteth his winges, and farewel, he is gon."
Other poets knew as well,
And the same sad story tell,
Hark ye, heed ye, while ye may,
What the worldly Pope doth say:
"Love, free as air, at sight of human ties
Spreads his light wings and in a moment flies."
This, Sir Hudibras, brave knight,
Faithful lover, constant wight,
From his lady's lips did hear;
Mark ye, eke, the warning clear:
"Love is too generous t'abide
To be against its nature ty'd,
For where 'tis of itself inclin'd,
It breaks loose when it is confin'd."
Ho, ye lovers, shall I tell
How through life with Love to dwell,
Spite of all the poets say?
Harken to the easy way:--
Strive to bind him not, but see
That the little god binds thee.
Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; Ii:
Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; II: On Malicious Cruelty To Harmless Creatures
The cruelty of P. L. Brown—
(He had ten toes as good as mine)
Was known to every one in town,
And, if he never harmed a noun,
He loved to make verbs shriek and whine.
The 'To be' family’s just complaints—
(Brown had ten toes as good as mine)
Made Brown cast off the last restraints:
He smashed the 'Is nots' into 'Ain’ts'
And kicked both mood and tense supine.
Infinitives were Brown’s dislike—
(Brown, as I said, had ten good toes)
And he would pinch and shake and strike
Infinitives, or, with a pike,
Prod them and then laugh at their woes.
At length this Brown more cruel grew—
(Ten toes, all good ones, then had Brown)
And to his woodshed door he drew
A young infinitive and threw
The poor, meek creature roughly down,
And while the poor thing weakly flopped,
Brown (ten good toes he had, the brute!)
Got out his chopping block and dropped
The martyr on it and then propped
His victim firmly with his boot.
He raised his axe! He brandished it!
(Ye gods of grammar, interpose!)
He brought it down full force all fit
The poor infinitive to split—
(Brown after that had but six toes!
Infinitives, by this we see.
Should not he split too recklessly.
Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; Iii:
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.