Ben King's Verse/The Chautauquan Maid
She had studied every ology--
Philology, geology, conchology, and more;
Knew the bones of every mammal,
From the mouse up to the camel,
And the mollusks and crustaceans that crept on
To think her up in history
Was not at all a mystery;
She could name you any ruler from old England to
It would certainly amaze you
What she said about Aspasia
And the little unsophisticated maiden, Cleopatra.
She had studied Greek and Latin,
Hebrew, Sanscrit (please put that in);
Read Xenophon and Horace, Ovid, Virgil and the
She didn't say, "I'll learn yuh,"
But "teach you" that Calphurnia
Sewed fifty-seven button holes in Julius Cæsar's vest.
She loved to pull the petals
From a flower. The baser metals,
She doted on their study, and for nuggets she would
She loved the dromedary,
And the docile cassowary,
And the feathers of the emu she had stuck in her
She had studied evolution,
And arrived at the solution
How long our first appendage was; of course, I
didn't ask her,
But she said that she'd resolved from
What she knew, that I evolved from
A carrot-haired chimpanzee she had seen in Mada-
She could scan iambic meter,
And she knew each Roman prætor,
And surprised me when she told the way the empire
came to fall.
The Huns sneaked in the forum,
And the Romans tried to floor 'em,
But they got themselves in trouble, and, or course,
got whipped, by Gaul.