By Ralph Waldo Emerson
The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter "Little Prig";
"You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year
And a sphere,
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut."
'OLD FASHIONED FUN'
By William Makepeace Thackeray
When that old joke was new,
It was not hard to joke,
And puns we now pooh-pooh,
Great laughter would provoke.
True wit was seldom heard,
And humor shown by few,
When reign'd King George the Third,
And that old joke was new.
It passed indeed for wit,
Did this achievement rare,
When down your friend would sit,
To steal away his chair.
You brought him to the floor,
You bruised him black and blue,
And this would cause a roar,
When your old joke was new.
By William Blake
Why was Cupid a boy,
And why a boy was he?
He should have been a girl,
For aught that I can see.
For he shoots with his bow,
And the girl shoots with her eye;
And they both are merry and glad,
And laugh when we do cry.
Then to make Cupid a boy
Was surely a woman's plan,
For a boy never learns so much
Till he has become a man.
And then he's so pierced with cares,
And wounded with arrowy smarts,
That the whole business of his life
Is to pick out the heads of the darts.
'WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING
FROM SESTOS TO ABYDOS'
FROM SESTOS TO ABYDOS'
By Lord Byron
If, in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
(What maid will not the tale remember?)
To cross thy stream broad Hellespont.
If, when the wint'ry tempest roar'd,
He sped to Hero nothing loth,
And thus of old thy current pour'd,
Fair Venus! how I pity both!
For me, degenerate, modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
And think I've done a feat to-day.
But since he crossed the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
To woo—and—Lord knows what beside,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory;
'T were hard to say who fared the best:
Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!
He lost his labor, I my jest;
For he was drowned, and I've the ague.
By Sir Walter Scott
INDEX BY AUTHOR
Also by Ardan Michael Blum:
Discover a French language site sharing life stories in audio and text / Un voyage à travers le temps raconté par les Seniors: Histoires de Genève.
More at links.ardanmichaelblum.com