How Jack Made The Giants Uncommonly Sore

A poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl

Of all the ill-fated
Boys ever created
Young Jack was the wretchedest lad:
An emphatic, erratic,
Dogmatic fanatic
Was foisted upon him as dad!
From the time he could walk,
And before he could talk,
His wearisome training began,
On a highly barbarian,
Nearly Tartarean

He taught him some Raleigh,
And some of Macaulay,
Till all of "Horatius" he knew,
And the drastic, sarcastic,
Fantastic, scholastic
Philippics of "Junius," too.
He made him learn lots
Of the poems of Watts,
And frequently said he ignored,
On principle, any son's
Title to benisons
Till he'd learned Tennyson's

"For these are the giants
Of thought and of science,"
He said in his positive way:
"So weigh them, obey them,
Display them, and lay them
To heart in your infancy's day!"
Jack made no reply,
But he said on the sly
An eloquent word, that had come
From a quite indefensible,
Most reprehensible,
But indispensable

By the time he was twenty
Jack had such a plenty
Of books and paternal advice,
Though seedy and needy,
Indeed he was greedy
For vengeance, whatever the price!
In the editor's seat
Of a critical sheet
He found the revenge that he sought;
And, with sterling appliance of
Mind, wrote defiance of
All of the giants of

He'd thunder and grumble
At high and at humble
Until he became, in a while,
Mordacious, pugnacious,
Rapacious. Good gracious!
They called him the Yankee Carlyle!
But he never took rest
On his quarrelsome quest
Of the giants, both mighty and small.
He slated, distorted them,
Hanged them and quartered them,
Till he had slaughtered them

And this is The Moral that lies in the verse:
If you have a go farther, you're apt to fare worse.
(When you turn it around it is different rather:--
You're not apt to go worse if you have a fair father!)

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