An Appreciative Audience

A poem by Ringgold Wilmer Lardner

My son, I wish that it were half
As easy to extract a laugh
From grown-ups as from thee.
Then I'd go on the stage, my boy,
While Richard Carle and Eddie Foy
Burned up with jealousy.

I wouldn't have to rack my brain
Or lie awake all night in vain
Pursuit of brand new jokes;
Nor fear my lines were heard with groans
Of pain and sympathetic moans
From sympathetic folks.

I'd merely have to make a face,
Just twist a feature out of place,
And be the soul of wit;
Or bark, and then pretend to bite,
And, from the screams of wild delight,
Be sure I'd made a hit.

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