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Best Famous Ellis Parker Butler Poems

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by Ellis Parker Butler | |

The Rich Boy’s Christmas

 And now behold this sulking boy,
His costly presents bring no joy;
Harsh tears of anger fill his eye
Tho’ he has all that wealth can buy.
What profits it that he employs His many gifts to make a noise? His playroom is so placed that he Can cause his folks no agony.
MORAL: Mere worldly wealth does not possess The power of giving happiness.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Ridden Down

 When I taught Ida how to ride a
 Bicycle that night,
I ran beside her, just to guide her
 Erring wheel aright;
And many times there in the street
She rode upon my weary feet.
But now can Ida mount and ride a Wheel with graceful ease, And I, untiring in admiring, Fall upon my knees To worship her,—and, for her part, She rides upon my proffered heart!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Womanly Qualms

 When I go rowing on the lake,
 I long to be a man;
I’ll give my Sunday frock to have
 A callous heart like Dan.
I love the ripple of the waves When gliding o’er the deep, But when I see the cruel ours, I close my eyes and weep; For there are cat-fish in our lake, And I am filled with dread, Lest Don should strike a pussy-fish Upon its tender head.
How would you like it if, some day An air-ship passing by, Should flap its cruel, thoughtless oars And knock you in the eye? My life would be one long regret If, for my pleasure vain, I caused a harmless little fish An hour of needless pain.
And if Dan’s heavy oars should cause One little fish to die, I’d never, never dare to look Smoked herring in the eye!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Would You Believe It?

 One year ago I wished that I
A banker great might be
With a hundred million dollars
And financial majesty;

A mighty Wall Street banker
With a whopping lot of power
And an income of somewhere around
A thousand plunks per hour;

A solid Wall Street banker
With securities in sacks
And with clever men to show me
How to pay no income tax;

A wealthy Wall Street banker
Who raked in cash like hay;
I wished that just a year ago—
And I wish the same today.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

To Kate. (In Lieu Of A Valentine)

 Sweet Love and I had oft communed;
 We were, indeed, great friends,
And oft I sought his office, near
 Where Courtship Alley ends.
I used to sit with him, and smoke, And talk of your blue eyes, And argue how I best might act To make your heart my prize.
He always seemed to have much time To hear me tell my joy, So that I came to deem him but An idle, lazy boy.
But on St.
Valentine his day, I found him hard at work, As if he had a mighty task And did not dare to shirk; And o’er his head there hung a card That made me haste away; It bore these words— Please make it short.
This is my busy day! And so, Sweet maiden; if I send No valentine, you see The reason here; Love could not waste His precious time on me!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

To Lovers

 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.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

To Marguerite

 So great my debt to thee, I know my life
 Is all too short to pay the least I owe,
And though I live it all in that sweet strife,
 Still shall I be insolvent when I go.
Bid, then, thy Bailiff Cupid come to me And bind and lead me wheresoe’er thou art, And let me live in sweet captivity Within the debtor’s prison of thy heart.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

To May

 I have no heart to write verses to May;
 I have no heart—yet I’m cheerful today;
I have no heart—she has won mine away
 So—I have no heart to write verses to May.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

When Ida Puts Her Armor On

 When Ida puts her armor on
 And draws her trusty blade
The turnips in the bin turn pale,
 The apples are afraid.
The quiet kitchen city wakes And consternation feels, And quick the tocsin pealeth forth In long potato peels.
When Ida puts her armor on The pots and pans succumb, A wooden spoon her drum-stick is, A mixing pan her drum; She charges on the kitchen folk With silver, tin and steel She beat the eggs, she whips the cream, The victory is a meal.
When Ida puts her apron on Her breast-plate is of blue.
(Checked gingham ruffled top and sides) Her gauntlets gingham, too; And thus protected from assault Of batter, stain and flour She wars with vegetable foes And conquers in an hour.
When Ida puts her armor on She is so fair to see Her battle with the kitchen folk Is reproduced in me; So sweet she is, armed cap-a-pie, So good her kitchen art I hardly know which loves her best My palate or my heart.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

The Water Nymphs

 They hide in the brook when I seek to draw nearer,
 Laughing amain when I feign to depart;
Often I hear them, now faint and now clearer—
 Innocent bold or so sweetly discreet.
Are they Nymphs of the Stream at their playing Or but the brook I mistook for a voice? Little care I; for, despite harsh Time’s flaying, Brook voice or Nymph voice still makes me rejoice.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

The Wood Nymph

 A glint of her hair or a flash of her shoulder —
 That is the most I can boast to have seen,
Then all is lost as the shadows enfold her,
 Forest glades making a screen of their green,
Could I cast off all the cares of tomorrow— Could I forget all the fret of today
Then, my heart free from the burdens I borrow,
 Nature’s chaste spirit her face would display.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year!

 Little cullud Rastus come a-skippin’ down de street,
A-smilin’ and a-grinnin’ at every one he meet;
My, oh! He was happy! Boy, but was he gay!
Wishin’ “Merry Chris’mus” an’ “Happy New-Year’s Day”!
Wishin’ that his wishes might every one come true—
And—bless your dear heart, honey,—I wish the same to you!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Night In The City

 The sluggish clouds hang low upon the town,
 And from yon lamp in chilled and sodden rays
The feeble light gropes through the heavy mist
 And dies, extinguished in the stagnant maze.
From moisty eaves the drops fall slowly down To strike with leaden sound the walk below, And in dark, murky pools upon the street The water stands, as lacking life to flow.
With hopeless brain, oppressed and sad at heart, Toil’s careworn slave turns out his flickering light And treads in dreams his dulling round again, Where weary day succeeds to dismal night.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

No Beer No Work

 The shades of night was fallin’ slow
As through New York a guy did go
 And nail on ev’ry barroom door
 A card that this here motter bore:
 “No beer, no work.
” His brow was sad, his mouth was dry; It was the first day of July, And where, all parched and scorched it hung, These words was stenciled on his tongue: “No beer, no work.
” “Oh, stay,” the maiden said, “and sup This malted milk from this here cup.
” A shudder passed through that there guy, But with a moan he made reply: “No beer, no work.
” At break of day, as through the town The milkman put milk bottles down, Onto one stoop a sort of snore Was heard, and then was heard no more— “No beer, no work.
” The poor old guy plumb dead was found And planted in the buryin’ ground, Still graspin’ in his hand of ice Them placards with this sad device: “No beer, no work.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

October

 The forest holds high carnival to-day,
And every hill-side glows with gold and fire;
Ivy and sumac dress in colors gay,
And oak and maple mask in bright attire.
The hoarded wealth of sober autumn days In lavish mood for motley garb is spent, And nature for the while at folly plays, Knowing the morrow brings a snowy Lent.


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Partners

 Love took chambers on our street
 Opposite to mine;
On his door he tacked a neat,
 Clearly lettered sign.
Straightway grew his custom great, For his sign read so: “Hearts united while you wait.
Step in.
Love and Co.
” Much I wondered who was “Co.
” In Love’s partnership; Thought across the street I’d go— Learn from Love’s own lip.
So I went; and since that day Life is hard for me.
I was buncoed! (By the way, “Co.
” is Jealousy.
)


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Reasonable Interest

 I want to know how Bernard Shaw
Likes beefsteak—fairly done, or raw?
I want to know what kinds of shoes
M.
Maeterlinck and Howells use.
I have great curiosity Regarding George Ade’s new boot tree.
Has Carolyn Wells of late employed Hairpins of wire or celluliod? What kind of soap does London like? Does Robert Chambers ever “hike”? Or did he ever? Or, if not, Does he like cabbage, cheese, or what? I want to know the size of gloves Oppenheim wears, and if he loves Olives, and how his clothes are made.
What does he eat? How is he paid? All sorts of things I want to learn, That are not of the least concern To any one.
For, Oh! and Oh! I want to know! I WANT TO KNOW! I want to know, and know I will— The printing press is never still, For me it prints such facts as these! I am the Public, if you please!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Song For Heroes

 Captain O’Hare was a mariner brave;
He refused to abandon his ship;
A hero, he sleeps in a watery grave—
And his widow is now Mrs.
Bipp, Haw! Haw! His widow is now Mrs.
Bipp! Henri Dupont was a fearless young ace; Five thousand feet up he was hit; Each year on his grave pretty flowers we place— And his widow is now Mrs.
Schmitt, Haw! Haw! His widow is now Mrs.
Schmitt! Corporal Dunn was a volunteer bold; He plunged in the deadliest fray; A bayonet thrust laid him out stony cold— And his widow is now Mrs.
Gray, Haw! Haw! His widow is now Mrs.
Gray! But Peter McGuck was a cowardly sneak, Like a hound he remained home in fear; When fishing one day he fell into the creek— And his widow is now Mrs.
Greer, Haw! Haw! Haw! Mrs.
William O’Houlihan Greer!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

Speaking Of Operations

 I know something wonderful—wonderful;
So strange it will quite startle you;
So strange and absurd and unusual
It seems it can hardly be true!

I know something wonderful—wonderful;
You’ll hardly believe it can be—
You know my appendix? Well, honest,
I’ve still got it inside of me!


by Ellis Parker Butler | |

The Daughter Of The Year

 Nature, when she made thee, dear,
Begged the treasures of the year.
For thy cheeks, all pink and white, Spring gave apple blossoms light; Summer, for thy matchless eyes, Gave the azure of her skies; Autumn spun her gold and red In a mass of silken thread— Gold and red and sunlight rare For the wonder of thy hair! Surly Winter would impart But his coldness, for thy heart.
Dearest, let the love I bring Turn thy Winter into Spring.
What are Summer, Spring and Fall, If thy Winter chills them all?