With her knee on a plank, and the plank on a chair,
She poises her saw with a knowing air,
Makes several wild rasps at the pencilled line,
And is off with a whizz the reverse of fine.
With lips compressed she gets down to work,
And crosses the timber jerkity-jerk;
She can't keep to the line, her knee slips askew;
But she keeps to the work till the board splits in two.
She has damaged the chair, she has ruined the saw,
Her back is aching, her hands are raw,
And she finds, when she tries to fit her prize,
It's an inch too short of the requisite size.
She came from Concord's classic shades, on Reason's throne she sat,
And wove intricate arguments to prove, in language pat,
The Whichness of the Wherefore, and the Thusness of the That.
She scorned ignoble subjects, each grovelling household care,
But tuned her lofty soul to prove the Airness of the Air,
And twisted skeins of logic round the Whatness of the Where.
To lower natures leaving the dollars, and the sense,
She soared above the level of commonplace pretence,
And moulded treatises which prove the Thatness of the Thence.
Her glorious purpose to reveal the Thinkfulness of the Thought,
To trace each line by Somewhat on the Somehow's surface wrought,
To picture forms of Whynot's from the Whatnot's meaning caught;