Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/282

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'Twould do you good with spiritual nose
To sniff the odor of the psychic rose,
Historic musk, and philosophic pea,
Poetic pansy, legal rosemary;
To smell the sweet infusion, pills and paint,
And law, and music, shaded with a taint
Of science, politics, and trade.

And so
It came to pass, they could no longer go.
Until from out their brilliant rank was led
A man to stand as capstone, ruler, head.
They cast their eyes around to choose them one;
But closed them quick, as they had seen the sun.
The faces of their fellow-members blazed
Till none could look, but all stood blind and dazed.
With thoughtful brows and introverted eyes;
And thus it was that each one in surprise,
Beheld himself the center of his sight.
And wrote his own proud name from left to right
Across his ballot, even as one inspired.

Then came the count of votes; a clerk was hired
To sort the ballots, while the members sat
In silent hope, each heart going pita-pat;
Swift worked that clerk till all his work was done.
Then called the vote: each member there had one!

They thanked each other for the compliment.
While round the room their gloomy looks were sent.
They knew that now a choice of one must come;
They asked for names ; but all the crowd was dumb.
At last one said: "Let's take no other test,
But vote for him whom each one loves the best!"

A moment later were the ballots cast:
Each wrote one name e'en swifter than the last;
The votes were counted, sorted, and the clerk
Was seen to smile when closing up his work.
"One name alone," he cried, "has here been sent,
And N. S. Dodge is your first president!"
Lord! how we cheered him, and how he cheered too,
The kindly soul—the childlike and the true;