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Ben apfelgarten

 There was a certain gentleman, Ben Apfelgarten called,
Who lived way off in Germany a many years ago,
And he was very fortunate in being very bald
And so was very happy he was so.
He warbled all the day Such songs as only they Who are very, very circumspect and very happy may; The people wondered why, As the years went gliding by, They never heard him once complain or even heave a sigh! The women of the province fell in love with genial Ben, Till (may be you can fancy it) the dickens was to pay Among the callow students and the sober-minded men-- With the women-folk a-cuttin' up that way! Why, they gave him turbans red To adorn his hairless head, And knitted jaunty nightcaps to protect him when abed! In vain the rest demurred-- Not a single chiding word Those ladies deigned to tolerate--remonstrance was absurd! Things finally got into such a very dreadful way That the others (oh, how artful) formed the politic design To send him to the reichstag; so, one dull November day, They elected him a member from the Rhine! Then the other members said: "Gott im Himmel! what a head!" But they marvelled when his speeches they listened to or read; And presently they cried: "There must be heaps inside Of the smooth and shiny cranium his constituents deride!" Well, when at last he up 'nd died--long past his ninetieth year-- The strangest and the most lugubrious funeral he had, For women came in multitudes to weep upon his bier-- The men all wond'ring why on earth the women had gone mad! And this wonderment increased Till the sympathetic priest Inquired of those same ladies: "Why this fuss about deceased?" Whereupon were they appalled, For, as one, those women squalled: "We doted on deceased for being bald--bald--bald!" He was bald because his genius burnt that shock of hair away Which, elsewise, clogs one's keenness and activity of mind; And (barring present company, of course) I'm free to say That, after all, it's intellect that captures womankind.
At any rate, since then (With a precedent in Ben), The women-folk have been in love with us bald-headed men!

Poem by Eugene Field
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