This section is from the book "Flying Rumors", by Roy Davis.
It follows, hence, that any task that's great Makes great the men who boldly undertake it.
This Earth's so huge that in the aggregate
It's round or square as mathematicians make it.
If Peary marches to the North Pole straight, Then Doctor Cook in his Igloo can fake it;
And if it comes to argument and theory,
It needs much common-sense to favor Peary.
Some things require an answer, No or Yes: We can't ignore the tooth-ache and the sun.
Our theories whether right or just a guess,
Are still the means by which the world is run.
Our peace terms were a joke or a success,
But Warren Harding bawled out "No" and won.
Hence, learn this truth: "It's wise to be dogmatic,"
And wiser still, if you are autocratic.
The starving donkey, told of in the fable,
When placed between two luscious piles of grass,
Which one to eat up first was never able
To quite decide, and starved, well named an ass.
An empty stomach often will enable An Epicure to eat what he would pass.
Your teeth or boot-heel cracks the hard nut shell,
I find a flat-iron does the work as well.
Is it not strange we still must judge mankind By the opinions that they claim to hold?
The wildest raving of the wildest mind
Some men believe when once as true it's told.
What sense can one in Swedenborgian find? "The Holy Ghost and Us," the Mormon Fold?
From every point lines run to every place;
Produced forever, they run into space.
The mayor of Nashua made the nation giggle;
One full-moon night he turned out all the light, And hoped the Brown-tail moths would higgle-piggle
Fly to the moon with all their main and might. No more on Nashua's elms worms would wriggle,
Though other towns should still receive the blight. If all New England had done just the same, He might have killed the moths and gained great fame.
If all Vermont had turned their lights out too, And Massachuetts followed him with Maine,
His scheme had been approved by me and you; For numbers help to prove ideas sane.
Truth may seem false when backed by just a few, False may seem true if it can numbers gain.
This moony scheme paused for the nation's word
To make it sensible or just absurd.
But some one laughed, the Boston Transcript smiled, The cackle spread, New England joined the chaff;
The nation's laughter straight the scheme exiled. E'en Jove himself might dread a nation's laugh.
A Dewey cheered today is next reviled A joke's a Kaiser on a six-legged calf.
Oh might this nation smile from sea to sea,
And make La Follette just one huge Tee-hee.
If Nashua's Mayor had proclaimed the first
The mona-sex conception of a child, Or claimed a new-born babe with sin is cursed
And ere it knows to sin it's sin-defiled,— Oh what a storm on Nashua's Mayor had burst!
He'd been a second outcast Oscar Wilde. What though the earth is round, we now declare? Our fathers thought it flat,—perhaps it's square.
Why trouble one another with belief
Beyond the realm of time and place and fact?
If in a Heavenly Hope you find relief
Don't try to make me on that notion act.
Darwin or Balfour next will bring to grief A hundred dogmas, e'en the most compact.
Truth, adding ever, grows as old Time flies;
Today the truths of yesterday are lies.
The Past was real when yesterday was "Now,"
And palpitated in its heyday bloom. Truth well may stoop to kiss that dead, cold brow,
But need not follow to the clammy tomb. Even to the Lover Nature can't allow
His dearest dead to grace his bridal room. Rameses Great ruled Egypt in his might, A mummy now, he's but a curious sight.
Long since Rameses went to Ra and Thoth;
Across the Silent Lake he's anchored fast. Perhaps he found his guide-book out a jot;
Your Baedeker may turn out wrong at last. The Jews thought Moses gave the facts they sought;
The Moslems on the Koran their hopes cast. I think these guide-books largely fabrication; No tourist e'er returned with information.
I've wandered farther than the Brown-tail flew;
But, somehow, it is hard to state my meaning. When one has sifted out the false and true
Most people seem to think he has been dreaming. The naked Truth's indecent when on view;
We stop our ears when Nature starts in screaming: One's bed feels cosier, you may well suppose, When his kind Heavenly Father tucked the clothes.
Pity the child that can no father call.
If we all be but foundling babes,—what then! What, if unnoticed on this earth we crawl!
What, if they be but spawn that we call men! Ah, me! perhaps unwatched the sparrows falll
And whom does God's existence comfort, when His schemes include our pains, and that he should Call Evolution Love, and Evil Good?
Life is too short for hate and man too small To swell with windy pride, like Aesop's frog.
Poor parasites, we cling to this old ball
And rush through space, sans compass and sans log,
Our whether and our whence unknown to all In some vast mechanism just a cog.
A goose-step, strutting Kaiser, kissing Mars
Has missed the humor of the midnight stars.
Caesar and Pompey, o'er-praised Alexander, Napoleon, Kaiser Bill, such serious folk,
Their silly mouthings should not rouse our dander,— Just dig him in the ribs and crack a joke.
Few creatures are more serious than a gander; E'en Kinglet George is harmless called a "bloke"
When once a wholesome laugh consumes the Devil,
Even Hell will rise up to a Heavenly level.
A sketch from life I'd truly like to see Of this Creator, but I have a doubt
That yet he has been seen by you or me, Or any artist studying here about.
There's many an ideal portrait, all agree, But no two studies are alike throughout: