Best Famous Information Poems

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Written by David Berman | Create an image from this poem

Self-Portrait At 28

 I know it's a bad title
but I'm giving it to myself as a gift
on a day nearly canceled by sunlight
when the entire hill is approaching
the ideal of Virginia
brochured with goldenrod and loblolly
and I think "at least I have not woken up
with a bloody knife in my hand"
by then having absently wandered
one hundred yards from the house
while still seated in this chair
with my eyes closed.
It is a certain hill the one I imagine when I hear the word "hill" and if the apocalypse turns out to be a world-wide nervous breakdown if our five billion minds collapse at once well I'd call that a surprise ending and this hill would still be beautiful a place I wouldn't mind dying alone or with you.
I am trying to get at something and I want to talk very plainly to you so that we are both comforted by the honesty.
You see there is a window by my desk I stare out when I am stuck though the outdoors has rarely inspired me to write and I don't know why I keep staring at it.
My childhood hasn't made good material either mostly being a mulch of white minutes with a few stand out moments, popping tar bubbles on the driveway in the summer a certain amount of pride at school everytime they called it "our sun" and playing football when the only play was "go out long" are what stand out now.
If squeezed for more information I can remember old clock radios with flipping metal numbers and an entree called Surf and Turf.
As a way of getting in touch with my origins every night I set the alarm clock for the time I was born so that waking up becomes a historical reenactment and the first thing I do is take a reading of the day and try to flow with it like when you're riding a mechanical bull and you strain to learn the pattern quickly so you don't inadverantly resist it.
II two I can't remember being born and no one else can remember it either even the doctor who I met years later at a cocktail party.
It's one of the little disappointments that makes you think about getting away going to Holly Springs or Coral Gables and taking a room on the square with a landlady whose hands are scored by disinfectant, telling the people you meet that you are from Alaska, and listen to what they have to say about Alaska until you have learned much more about Alaska than you ever will about Holly Springs or Coral Gables.
Sometimes I am buying a newspaper in a strange city and think "I am about to learn what it's like to live here.
" Oftentimes there is a news item about the complaints of homeowners who live beside the airport and I realize that I read an article on this subject nearly once a year and always receive the same image.
I am in bed late at night in my house near the airport listening to the jets fly overhead a strange wife sleeping beside me.
In my mind, the bedroom is an amalgamation of various cold medicine commercial sets (there is always a box of tissue on the nightstand).
I know these recurring news articles are clues, flaws in the design though I haven't figured out how to string them together yet, but I've begun to notice that the same people are dying over and over again, for instance Minnie Pearl who died this year for the fourth time in four years.
III three Today is the first day of Lent and once again I'm not really sure what it is.
How many more years will I let pass before I take the trouble to ask someone? It reminds of this morning when you were getting ready for work.
I was sitting by the space heater numbly watching you dress and when you asked why I never wear a robe I had so many good reasons I didn't know where to begin.
If you were cool in high school you didn't ask too many questions.
You could tell who'd been to last night's big metal concert by the new t-shirts in the hallway.
You didn't have to ask and that's what cool was: the ability to deduct to know without asking.
And the pressure to simulate coolness means not asking when you don't know, which is why kids grow ever more stupid.
A yearbook's endpages, filled with promises to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness of a teenager's promise.
Not like I'm dying for a letter from the class stoner ten years on but.
Do you remember the way the girls would call out "love you!" conveniently leaving out the "I" as if they didn't want to commit to their own declarations.
I agree that the "I" is a pretty heavy concept and hope you won't get uncomfortable if I should go into some deeper stuff here.
IV four There are things I've given up on like recording funny answering machine messages.
It's part of growing older and the human race as a group has matured along the same lines.
It seems our comedy dates the quickest.
If you laugh out loud at Shakespeare's jokes I hope you won't be insulted if I say you're trying too hard.
Even sketches from the original Saturday Night Live seem slow-witted and obvious now.
It's just that our advances are irrepressible.
Nowadays little kids can't even set up lemonade stands.
It makes people too self-conscious about the past, though try explaining that to a kid.
I'm not saying it should be this way.
All this new technology will eventually give us new feelings that will never completely displace the old ones leaving everyone feeling quite nervous and split in two.
We will travel to Mars even as folks on Earth are still ripping open potato chip bags with their teeth.
Why? I don't have the time or intelligence to make all the connections like my friend Gordon (this is a true story) who grew up in Braintree Massachusetts and had never pictured a brain snagged in a tree until I brought it up.
He'd never broken the name down to its parts.
By then it was too late.
He had moved to Coral Gables.
V five The hill out my window is still looking beautiful suffused in a kind of gold national park light and it seems to say, I'm sorry the world could not possibly use another poem about Orpheus but I'm available if you're not working on a self-portrait or anything.
I'm watching my dog have nightmares, twitching and whining on the office floor and I try to imagine what beast has cornered him in the meadow where his dreams are set.
I'm just letting the day be what it is: a place for a large number of things to gather and interact -- not even a place but an occasion a reality for real things.
Friends warned me not to get too psychedelic or religious with this piece: "They won't accept it if it's too psychedelic or religious," but these are valid topics and I'm the one with the dog twitching on the floor possibly dreaming of me that part of me that would beat a dog for no good reason no reason that a dog could see.
I am trying to get at something so simple that I have to talk plainly so the words don't disfigure it and if it turns out that what I say is untrue then at least let it be harmless like a leaky boat in the reeds that is bothering no one.
VI six I can't trust the accuracy of my own memories, many of them having blended with sentimental telephone and margarine commercials plainly ruined by Madison Avenue though no one seems to call the advertising world "Madison Avenue" anymore.
Have they moved? Let's get an update on this.
But first I have some business to take care of.
I walked out to the hill behind our house which looks positively Alaskan today and it would be easier to explain this if I had a picture to show you but I was with our young dog and he was running through the tall grass like running through the tall grass is all of life together until a bird calls or he finds a beer can and that thing fills all the space in his head.
You see, his mind can only hold one thought at a time and when he finally hears me call his name he looks up and cocks his head and for a single moment my voice is everything: Self-portrait at 28.
Written by Leonard Cohen | Create an image from this poem

Waiting For The Miracle

 (co-written by Sharon Robinson)
Baby, I've been waiting, 
I've been waiting night and day.
I didn't see the time, I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations and I know you sent me some, but I was waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
I know you really loved me.
but, you see, my hands were tied.
I know it must have hurt you, it must have hurt your pride to have to stand beneath my window with your bugle and your drum, and me I'm up there waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
Ah I don't believe you'd like it, You wouldn't like it here.
There ain't no entertainment and the judgements are severe.
The Maestro says it's Mozart but it sounds like bubble gum when you're waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
Waiting for the miracle There's nothing left to do.
I haven't been this happy since the end of World War II.
Nothing left to do when you know that you've been taken.
Nothing left to do when you're begging for a crumb Nothing left to do when you've got to go on waiting waiting for the miracle to come.
I dreamed about you, baby.
It was just the other night.
Most of you was naked Ah but some of you was light.
The sands of time were falling from your fingers and your thumb, and you were waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come Ah baby, let's get married, we've been alone too long.
Let's be alone together.
Let's see if we're that strong.
Yeah let's do something crazy, something absolutely wrong while we're waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
Nothing left to do .
When you've fallen on the highway and you're lying in the rain, and they ask you how you're doing of course you'll say you can't complain -- If you're squeezed for information, that's when you've got to play it dumb: You just say you're out there waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come.
Written by Kathleen Raine | Create an image from this poem

Millenial Hymn to Lord Shiva

 Earth no longer
hymns the Creator,
the seven days of wonder,
the Garden is over —
all the stories are told,
the seven seals broken
all that begins
must have its ending,
our striving, desiring,
our living and dying,
for Time, the bringer
of abundant days
is Time the destroyer —
In the Iron Age
the Kali Yuga
To whom can we pray
at the end of an era
but the Lord Shiva,
the Liberator, the purifier?

Our forests are felled,
our mountains eroded,
the wild places
where the beautiful animals
found food and sanctuary
we have desolated,
a third of our seas,
a third of our rivers
we have polluted
and the sea-creatures dying.
Our civilization’s blind progress in wrong courses through wrong choices has brought us to nightmare where what seems, is, to the dreamer, the collective mind of the twentieth century — this world of wonders not divine creation but a big bang of blind chance, purposeless accident, mother earth’s children, their living and loving, their delight in being not joy but chemistry, stimulus, reflex, valueless, meaningless, while to our machines we impute intelligence, in computers and robots we store information and call it knowledge, we seek guidance by dialling numbers, pressing buttons, throwing switches, in place of family our companions are shadows, cast on a screen, bodiless voices, fleshless faces, where was the Garden a Disney-land of virtual reality, in place of angels the human imagination is peopled with foot-ballers film-stars, media-men, experts, know-all television personalities, animated puppets with cartoon faces — To whom can we pray for release from illusion, from the world-cave, but Time the destroyer, the liberator, the purifier? The curse of Midas has changed at a touch, a golden handshake earthly paradise to lifeless matter, where once was seed-time, summer and winter, food-chain, factory farming, monocrops for supermarkets, pesticides, weed-killers birdless springs, endangered species, battery-hens, hormone injections, artificial insemination, implants, transplants, sterilization, surrogate births, contraception, cloning, genetic engineering, abortion, and our days shall be short in the land we have sown with the Dragon’s teeth where our armies arise fully armed on our killing-fields with land-mines and missiles, tanks and artillery, gas-masks and body-bags, our air-craft rain down fire and destruction, our space-craft broadcast lies and corruption, our elected parliaments parrot their rhetoric of peace and democracy while the truth we deny returns in our dreams of Armageddon, the death-wish, the arms-trade, hatred and slaughter profitable employment of our thriving cities, the arms-race to the end of the world of our postmodern, post-Christian, post-human nations, progress to the nihil of our spent civilization.
But cause and effect, just and inexorable law of the universe no fix of science, nor amenable god can save from ourselves the selves we have become — At the end of history to whom can we pray but to the destroyer, the liberator, the purifier? In the beginning the stars sang together the cosmic harmony, but Time, imperceptible taker-away of all that has been, all that will be, our heart-beat your drum, our dance of life your dance of death in the crematorium, our high-rise dreams, Valhalla, Utopia, Xanadu, Shangri-la, world revolution Time has taken, and soon will be gone Cambridge, Princeton and M.
, Nalanda, Athens and Alexandria all for the holocaust of civilization — To whom shall we pray when our vision has faded but the world-destroyer, the liberator, the purifier? But great is the realm of the world-creator, the world-sustainer from whom we come, in whom we move and have our being, about us, within us the wonders of wisdom, the trees and the fountains, the stars and the mountains, all the children of joy, the loved and the known, the unknowable mystery to whom we return through the world-destroyer, — Holy, holy at the end of the world the purging fire of the purifier, the liberator!
Written by Adrienne Rich | Create an image from this poem

For the Record

 The clouds and the stars didn't wage this war
the brooks gave no information
if the mountain spewed stones of fire into the river
it was not taking sides
the raindrop faintly swaying under the leaf
had no political opinions

and if here or there a house
filled with backed-up raw sewage
or poisoned those who lived there
with slow fumes, over years
the houses were not at war
nor did the tinned-up buildings

intend to refuse shelter
to homeless old women and roaming children
they had no policy to keep them roaming
or dying, no, the cities were not the problem
the bridges were non-partisan
the freeways burned, but not with hatred

Even the miles of barbed-wire
stretched around crouching temporary huts
designed to keep the unwanted
at a safe distance, out of sight
even the boards that had to absorb
year upon year, so many human sounds

so many depths of vomit, tears
slow-soaking blood
had not offered themselves for this
The trees didn't volunteer to be cut into boards
nor the thorns for tearing flesh
Look around at all of it

and ask whose signature 
is stamped on the orders, traced
in the corner of the building plans
Ask where the illiterate, big-bellied
women were, the drunks and crazies,
the ones you fear most of all: ask where you were.
Written by Charles Bukowski | Create an image from this poem

Cows In Art Class

 good weather
is like
good women-
it doesn't always happen
and when it does
it doesn't
always last.
man is more stable: if he's bad there's more chance he'll stay that way, or if he's good he might hang on, but a woman is changed by children age diet conversation sex the moon the absence or presence of sun or good times.
a woman must be nursed into subsistence by love where a man can become stronger by being hated.
I am drinking tonight in Spangler's Bar and I remember the cows I once painted in Art class and they looked good they looked better than anything in here.
I am drinking in Spangler's Bar wondering which to love and which to hate, but the rules are gone: I love and hate only myself- they stand outside me like an orange dropped from the table and rolling away; it's what I've got to decide: kill myself or love myself? which is the treason? where's the information coming from? books.
like broken glass: I wouldn't wipe my ass with 'em yet, it's getting darker, see? (we drink here and speak to each other and seem knowing.
) buy the cow with the biggest tits buy the cow with the biggest rump.
present arms.
the bartender slides me a beer it runs down the bar like an Olympic sprinter and the pair of pliers that is my hand stops it, lifts it, golden piss of dull temptation, I drink and stand there the weather bad for cows but my brush is ready to stroke up the green grass straw eye sadness takes me all over and I drink the beer straight down order a shot fast to give me the guts and the love to go on.
from "poems written before jumping out of an 8 story window" - 1966
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Cosmopolitan Greetings

 To Struga Festival Golden Wreath Laureates
 & International Bards 1986

Stand up against governments, against God.
Stay irresponsible.
Say only what we know & imagine.
Absolutes are coercion.
Change is absolute.
Ordinary mind includes eternal perceptions.
Observe what's vivid.
Notice what you notice.
Catch yourself thinking.
Vividness is self-selecting.
If we don't show anyone, we're free to write anything.
Remember the future.
Advise only yourself.
Don't drink yourself to death.
Two molecules clanking against each other requires an observer to become scientific data.
The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal world after Einstein.
The universe is subjective.
Walt Whitman celebrated Person.
We Are an observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person.
Universe is person.
Inside skull vast as outside skull.
Mind is outer space.
"Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound.
" First thought, best thought.
Mind is shapely, Art is shapely.
Maximum information, minimum number of syllables.
Syntax condensed, sound is solid.
Intense fragments of spoken idiom, best.
Consonants around vowels make sense.
Savor vowels, appreciate consonants.
Subject is known by what she sees.
Others can measure their vision by what we see.
Candor ends paranoia.
Kral Majales June 25, 1986 Boulder, Colorado
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem


 In Paris on a morn of May
I sent a radio transalantic
To catch a steamer on the way,
But oh the postal fuss was frantic;
They sent me here, they sent me there,
They were so courteous yet so canny;
Then as I wilted in despair
A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny.
'Twas only juts a gentle pat, Yet oh what sympathy behind it! I don't let anyone do that, But somehow then I didn't mind it.
He seemed my worry to divine, With kindly smile, that foreign mannie, And as we stood in waiting line With tender touch he tapped my fanny.
It brought a ripple of romance Into that postal bureau dreary; He gave me such a smiling glance That somehow I felt gay and cheery.
For information on my case The postal folk searched nook and cranny; He gently tapped, with smiling face, His reassurance on my fanny.
So I'll go back to Tennessee, And they will ask: "How have you spent your Brief holiday in gay Paree?" But I'll not speak of my adventure.
Oh say I'm spectacled and grey, Oh say I'm sixty and a grannie - But say that morn of May A Frenchman flipped me on the fanny!
Written by Billy Collins | Create an image from this poem


 There is a section in my library for death
and another for Irish history,
a few shelves for the poetry of China and Japan,
and in the center a row of imperturbable reference books,
the ones you can turn to anytime,
when the night is going wrong
or when the day is full of empty promise.
I have nothing against the thin monograph, the odd query, a note on the identity of Chekhov's dentist, but what I prefer on days like these is to get up from the couch, pull down The History of the World, and hold in my hands a book containing nearly everything and weighing no more than a sack of potatoes, eleven pounds, I discovered one day when I placed it on the black, iron scale my mother used to keep in her kitchen, the device on which she would place a certain amount of flour, a certain amount of fish.
Open flat on my lap under a halo of lamplight, a book like this always has a way of soothing the nerves, quieting the riotous surf of information that foams around my waist even though it never mentions the silent labors of the poor, the daydreams of grocers and tailors, or the faces of men and women alone in single rooms- even though it never mentions my mother, now that I think of her again, who only last year rolled off the edge of the earth in her electric bed, in her smooth pink nightgown the bones of her fingers interlocked, her sunken eyes staring upward beyond all knowledge, beyond the tiny figures of history, some in uniform, some not, marching onto the pages of this incredibly heavy book.
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

The Lotos-eaters

 "Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land, 
"This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.
" In the afternoon they came unto a land In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon, Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon; And like a downward smoke, the slender stream Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.
A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke, Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go; And some thro' wavering lights and shadows broke, Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
They saw the gleaming river seaward flow From the inner land: far off, three mountain-tops, Three silent pinnacles of aged snow, Stood sunset-flush'd: and, dew'd with showery drops, Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse.
The charmed sunset linger'd low adown In the red West: thro' mountain clefts the dale Was seen far inland, and the yellow down Border'd with palm, and many a winding vale And meadow, set with slender galingale; A land where all things always seem'd the same! And round about the keel with faces pale, Dark faces pale against that rosy flame, The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.
Branches they bore of that enchanted stem, Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave To each, but whoso did receive of them, And taste, to him the gushing of the wave Far far away did seem to mourn and rave On alien shores; and if his fellow spake, His voice was thin, as voices from the grave; And deep-asleep he seem'd, yet all awake, And music in his ears his beating heart did make.
They sat them down upon the yellow sand, Between the sun and moon upon the shore; And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland, Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore Most weary seem'd the sea, weary the oar, Weary the wandering fields of barren foam.
Then some one said, "We will return no more"; And all at once they sang, "Our island home Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.
"CHORIC SONGI There is sweet music here that softer falls Than petals from blown roses on the grass, Or night-dews on still waters between walls Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass; Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes; Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep, And thro' the moss the ivies creep, And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep, And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
"II Why are we weigh'd upon with heaviness, And utterly consumed with sharp distress, While all things else have rest from weariness? All things have rest: why should we toil alone, We only toil, who are the first of things, And make perpetual moan, Still from one sorrow to another thrown: Nor ever fold our wings, And cease from wanderings, Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm; Nor harken what the inner spirit sings, "There is no joy but calm!" Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?III Lo! in the middle of the wood, The folded leaf is woo'd from out the bud With winds upon the branch, and there Grows green and broad, and takes no care, Sun-steep'd at noon, and in the moon Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow Falls, and floats adown the air.
Lo! sweeten'd with the summer light, The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow, Drops in a silent autumn night.
All its allotted length of days The flower ripens in its place, Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil, Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.
IV Hateful is the dark-blue sky, Vaulted o'er the dark-blue sea.
Death is the end of life; ah, why Should life all labour be? Let us alone.
Time driveth onward fast, And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Let us alone.
What is it that will last? All things are taken from us, and become Portions and parcels of the dreadful past.
Let us alone.
What pleasure can we have To war with evil? Is there any peace In ever climbing up the climbing wave? All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave In silence; ripen, fall and cease: Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.
V How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream, With half-shut eyes ever to seem Falling asleep in a half-dream! To dream and dream, like yonder amber light, Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height; To hear each other's whisper'd speech; Eating the Lotos day by day, To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, And tender curving lines of creamy spray; To lend our hearts and spirits wholly To the influence of mild-minded melancholy; To muse and brood and live again in memory, With those old faces of our infancy Heap'd over with a mound of grass, Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass!VI Dear is the memory of our wedded lives, And dear the last embraces of our wives And their warm tears: but all hath suffer'd change: For surely now our household hearths are cold, Our sons inherit us: our looks are strange: And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.
Or else the island princes over-bold Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings Before them of the ten years' war in Troy, And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
Is there confusion in the little isle? Let what is broken so remain.
The Gods are hard to reconcile: 'Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death, Trouble on trouble, pain on pain, Long labour unto aged breath, Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.
VII But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly, How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly) With half-dropt eyelid still, Beneath a heaven dark and holy, To watch the long bright river drawing slowly His waters from the purple hill-- To hear the dewy echoes calling From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined vine-- To watch the emerald-colour'd water falling Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath divine! Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine, Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine.
VIII The Lotos blooms below the barren peak: The Lotos blows by every winding creek: All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone: Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
We have had enough of action, and of motion we, Roll'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when the surge was seething free, Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind, In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.
For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl'd Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl'd Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world: Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands, Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands, Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands.
But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong, Like a tale of little meaning tho' the words are strong; Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil, Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil, Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil; Till they perish and they suffer--some, 'tis whisper'd--down in hell Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell, Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore Than labour in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.
Credits and CopyrightTogether with the editors, the Department ofEnglish (University of Toronto), and the University of Toronto Press,the following individuals share copyright for the work that wentinto this edition:Screen Design (Electronic Edition): Sian Meikle (University ofToronto Library)Scanning: Sharine Leung (Centre for Computing in the Humanities) Added: Mar 11 2005 | Viewed: 581 times | Comments (0) Information about The Lotos-eaters Poet: Alfred Lord Tennyson Poem: The Lotos-eaters Additional Information Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, The Lotos-eaters, has not yet been commented on.
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Written by Eugene Field | Create an image from this poem

Mr. Dana of the New York Sun

 Thar showed up out'n Denver in the spring uv '81
A man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
His name wuz Cantell Whoppers, 'nd he wuz a sight ter view Ez he walked inter the orfice 'nd inquired fer work ter do.
Thar warn't no places vacant then,--fer be it understood, That wuz the time when talent flourished at that altitood; But thar the stranger lingered, tellin' Raymond 'nd the rest Uv what perdigious wonders he could do when at his best, Till finally he stated (quite by chance) that he hed done A heap uv work with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
Wall, that wuz quite another thing; we owned that ary cuss Who'd worked f'r Mr.
Dana must be good enough fer us! And so we tuk the stranger's word 'nd nipped him while we could, For if we didn't take him we knew John Arkins would; And Cooper, too, wuz mouzin' round fer enterprise 'nd brains, Whenever them commodities blew in across the plains.
At any rate we nailed him, which made ol' Cooper swear And Arkins tear out handfuls uv his copious curly hair; But we set back and cackled, 'nd bed a power uv fun With our man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
It made our eyes hang on our cheeks 'nd lower jaws ter drop, Ter hear that feller tellin' how ol' Dana run his shop: It seems that Dana wuz the biggest man you ever saw,-- He lived on human bein's, 'nd preferred to eat 'em raw! If he hed Democratic drugs ter take, before he took 'em, As good old allopathic laws prescribe, he allus shook 'em.
The man that could set down 'nd write like Dany never grew, And the sum of human knowledge wuzn't half what Dana knew; The consequence appeared to be that nearly every one Concurred with Mr.
Dana of the Noo York Sun.
This feller, Cantell Whoppers, never brought an item in,-- He spent his time at Perrin's shakin' poker dice f'r gin.
Whatever the assignment, he wuz allus sure to shirk, He wuz very long on likker and all-fired short on work! If any other cuss had played the tricks he dared ter play, The daisies would be bloomin' over his remains to-day; But somehow folks respected him and stood him to the last, Considerin' his superior connections in the past.
So, when he bilked at poker, not a sucker drew a gun On the man who 'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
Wall, Dana came ter Denver in the fall uv '83.
A very different party from the man we thought ter see,-- A nice 'nd clean old gentleman, so dignerfied 'nd calm, You bet yer life he never did no human bein' harm! A certain hearty manner 'nd a fulness uv the vest Betokened that his sperrits 'nd his victuals wuz the best; His face wuz so benevolent, his smile so sweet 'nd kind, That they seemed to be the reflex uv an honest, healthy mind; And God had set upon his head a crown uv silver hair In promise uv the golden crown He meaneth him to wear.
So, uv us boys that met him out'n Denver, there wuz none But fell in love with Dana uv the Noo York Sun.
But when he came to Denver in that fall uv '83, His old friend Cantell Whoppers disappeared upon a spree; The very thought uv seein' Dana worked upon him so (They hadn't been together fer a year or two, you know), That he borrered all the stuff he could and started on a bat, And, strange as it may seem, we didn't see him after that.
So, when ol' Dana hove in sight, we couldn't understand Why he didn't seem to notice that his crony wa'n't on hand; No casual allusion, not a question, no, not one, For the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun!" We broke it gently to him, but he didn't seem surprised, Thar wuz no big burst uv passion as we fellers had surmised.
He said that Whoppers wuz a man he 'd never heerd about, But he mought have carried papers on a Jarsey City route; And then he recollected hearin' Mr.
Laffan say That he'd fired a man named Whoppers fur bein' drunk one day, Which, with more likker underneath than money in his vest, Had started on a freight-train fur the great 'nd boundin' West, But further information or statistics he had none Uv the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
" We dropped the matter quietly 'nd never made no fuss,-- When we get played for suckers, why, that's a horse on us!-- But every now 'nd then we Denver fellers have to laff To hear some other paper boast uv havin' on its staff A man who's "worked with Dana," 'nd then we fellers wink And pull our hats down on our eyes 'nd set around 'nd think.
It seems like Dana couldn't be as smart as people say, If he educates so many folks 'nd lets 'em get away; And, as for us, in future we'll be very apt to shun The man who "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
" But bless ye, Mr.
Dana! may you live a thousan' years, To sort o' keep things lively in this vale of human tears; An' may I live a thousan', too,--a thousan' less a day, For I shouldn't like to be on earth to hear you'd passed away.
And when it comes your time to go you'll need no Latin chaff Nor biographic data put in your epitaph; But one straight line of English and of truth will let folks know The homage 'nd the gratitude 'nd reverence they owe; You'll need no epitaph but this: "Here sleeps the man who run That best 'nd brightest paper, the Noo York Sun.