I hope I'm not too orthodox
To give a joke away,
That took me like the chicken-pox
And left a debt to pay.
Let argument ignore the cost,
If it be dear or cheap,
And only claim that naught be lost
When it's too good to keep.
The proverb says "All flesh is grass,"
But this I do deny,
Because of that which came to pass,
But not to pass me by.
A body weighing by the pound
Inside of half a score,
In case and cordage safely bound,
Was landed at my door.
What could it be? for friends are slack,
And give, I rather trow,
When they are sure of getting back
As much as they bestow.
My hair, at thought of dark design,
Or dynamitish fate,
Stood up like quills of porcupine,
But more than twice as straight.
Anon, I mused on something rare,
Like duck or terrapin,
But dreamed not, of the parcel, there
Might be a pullet-in.
A mighty jerk, - the string that broke
The fowl affair revealed,
The victim of a cruel choke,
Its neck completely peeled.
The biped in its paper cof-
Fin, cramped and plump and neat,
Had scratched its very toenails off
In making both ends meat.
The only part I always ate,
That never made me ill,
Had gone away decapitate
And carried off the bill.
I pondered o'er the sacrifice,
The merry-thought, the wings,
On giblet gravy, salad nice,
And chicken-pie-ous things.
In heat of Fahrenheit degree
Two hundred twelve or more,
Where its grandsire, defying me,
Had crowed the year before,
I thrust it with a hope forlorn, -
I knew what toughness meant,
And sighed that ever I was born
To die of roasting scent.
But presto! what dénouement grand
Of cookery sublime!
'Twas done as by the second hand,
The drumsticks beating thyme.
And now the moral - he who buys
Will comprehend its worth, -
Look not so much to weight and size
As to the date of birth.
In fowls there is a difference;
"The good die young," they say,
And for the death of innocence
To make us meat, we pray.