Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/284

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No word was said; but each man wrote his name,
And hailed him President with loud acclaim.
He stepped him down: "You know me like a book,"
He said, "I am the friend of Joseph Cook!"

While Rogers reigned the club climbed high in air;
Then paused to help O'Reilly fill the chair.
Selected he for neither gift nor grace,
But just a make-shift for the vacant place.

Twelve months the club considered then its choice,
And, like a trained Calliope, one voice
Announced that Alexander Young was Mayor ;
They chose him for his grave, benignant air:
"We want historians!" they proudly said:
"The Netherlands," by Young, they had not read.
Nor had he writ; but their prophetic rage.
Could see the writing in him, every page!

Then grew they weary of the serious minds.
As children long for candy's varied kinds.
They cried: "We want a man to please the eye;
A sensuous, soft, mellifluent harmony!"
And all eyes centered with direct accord
On Towle, the gentle wrangler of the board.
He swayed the gavel with a graceful pose
And wore a wreath of sweet poetic prose.

Wide swings the pendulum in one brief year:
The fickle-hearted Club cries: "Bring us here
A man who knows not poetry nor prose;
Nor art nor grace, yet all these graceful knows;
Bring us a brusque, rude gentleman of parts!"
They brought in Hovey, who won all their hearts.

Next year, the Club said: "Now, we cannot choose;
Goodness, we've had, and beauty, and the muse;
Religion's friend and Holland's guardian, too:
Go—nominate—we know not what to do."

And forth they brought a man, and cried: "Behold!
A balanced virtue, neither young nor old;
A pure negation, scientific, cold—
Yet not too cold—caloric, just enough—
Simple and pure in soul, yet up to snuff.