Ellis Parker Butler Short Poems | Poetry

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Ellis Parker Butler | Short Famous Poems and Poets

 
by Ellis Parker Butler

The Poor Boy's Christmas

 Observe, my child, this pretty scene,
And note the air of pleasure keen
With which the widow’s orphan boy
Toots his tin horn, his only toy.
What need of costly gifts has he? The widow has nowhere to flee.
And ample noise his horn emits To drive the widow into fits.
MORAL: The philosophic mind can see The uses of adversity.


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

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

Good - Better - Best

 When young, in tones quite positive
I said, "The world shall see
That I can keep myself from sin;
A good man I will be.
" But when I loved Miss Kate St.
Clair 'Twas thus my musing ran: "I cannot be compared with her; I'll be a better man.
" 'Twas at the wedding of a friend (He married Kate St.
Clair) That I became superlative, For I was "best man" there.


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

Immortality

 I bowed my head in anguish sore
 When Life made Death his bride;
“Soul, we are lost forever more!”
 Unto my soul I cried.
“Nay, waste in wailing not thy breath,” My soul replied to me, “Behold! The child of Life and Death Is Immortality!”


by Ellis Parker Butler

A St. Valentine's Day Tragedy

 Oh! Montmorency Vere de Vere,
To think that one I held so dear
Should use a base deceiver’s art
To trifle with my loving heart.
A brand new ten-cent valentine With lace and hearts and verses fine, I sent to show my love for thee And in return you send to me The one I sent to you last year, Oh! Montmorency Vere de Vere.


by Ellis Parker Butler

How'd You Like It?

 Well, then! How’d you like to bear the name of Butler
 As an honor badge eight centuries at least,
And then have the Prohibitionists inform you
 That a butler is a sort of outlawed beast?


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

Mary Had A Little Frog

 Mary had a little frog
 And it was water-soaked,
But Mary did not keep it long
 Because, of course, it croaked!


by Ellis Parker Butler

The Hunter

 A full-fledged gun cannot endure
The trifling of an amateur;
Poor marksmanship its temper spoils
And this is why the gun recoils.
A self-respecting gun I’m sure Delights to jar the amateur And thinks that it is no disgrace To kick his shoulder out of place.
Moral When you go out to hunt, my son Prepare to circumvent your gun And on your shoulder firmly bind A pillow of the largest kind.


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

A Question

 Whene’er I feed the barnyard folk
 My gentle soul is vexed;
My sensibilities are torn
 And I am sore perplexed.
The rooster so politely stands While waiting for his food, But when I feed him, what a change! He then is rough and rude.
He crowds his gentle wives aside Or pecks them on the head; Sometimes I think it would be best If he were never fed.
And so I often stand for hours Deciding which is right— To impolitely have enough, Or starve and be polite.


by Ellis Parker Butler

Anticipation

 I hold her letter as I stand,
 Nor break the seal; no need to guess
What dainty little female hand
 Penned this most delicate address.
The scented seal—I break it not, But stand in stormy revery; I tremble as I wonder what She who penned this will say to me.
I wonder what my wife will say If so it be she e’er shall know I only mailed her note today— It should have gone two weeks ago!


by Ellis Parker Butler

Bird Nesting

 O wonderful! In sport we climbed the tree,
Eager and laughing, as in all our play,
To see the eggs where, in the nest, they lay,
But silent fell before the mystery.
For, one brief moment there, we understood By sudden sympathy too fine for words That we were sisters to the brooding birds And part, with them, in God’s great motherhood.


by Ellis Parker Butler

A Scotchman Whose Name Was Isbister

 A Scotchman whose name was Isbister
Had a maiden giraffe he called “sister”
 When she said “Oh, be mine,
 Be my sweet Valentine!”
He just shinned up her long neck and kissed her.


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

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

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

A Minute

 She plucked a blossom fair to see;
 Upon my coat I let her pin it;
And thus we stood beneath the tree
 A minute.
She turned her smiling face to me; I saw a roguish sweetness in it; I kissed her once;—it took, maybe, A minute.
The time was paltry, you’ll agree; It took but little to begin it; But since my heart has not been free A minute.


by Ellis Parker Butler

At Variance

 When with me the play she goes,
I much admire the buds and bows
And all that on Kate’s headgear grows.
But when some other night I see That hat between the stage and me, My taste and Kate’s do not agree.


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

Valentine To The Girl In Black

 In hand I take this pen of mine
To write you, sweet, a valentine;
I’d take your dainty hand instead,
But—you’re a drawing—I am wed—
And that is why, you understand,
I only take my pen in hand.