(Written in collaboration with R. B. Hamilton.)
When Julius Caesar met his death,
He muttered in his dying breath:
"It is not patriotism now
Prompts you to break your friendship's vow."
Quoth Brutus, as he stabbed again
The greatest of his countrymen:
"You're in this fix
As on his path Columbus sped,
A sailor to the great man said:
"Without a break, without a bend,
The broad Atlantic has no end."
And to the sailor at his side,
'Tis rumored, that great man replied:
"I guess I know.
You go below."
The snow fell fast on Russia's soil,
The soldiers, wearied with their toil,
Cried: "'Tis not possible that we
Our native France again shall see."
Stern ever in the face of death,
Napoleon said beneath his breath:
"Go take a walk,
I hate such talk."
A cherry tree lay on the ground,
On George's body, pa did pound;
"But pa," George cried, "It seems to me
That you are wrong; dis ain't your tree."
The old man sadly shook his head
And to his wayward son he said:
"Don't lie to me
I know my tree."
When Dewey on his flagship sailed,
The Spaniards never even quailed.
"Oh, it ain't possible," said they,
"For him to reach Manila Bay."
But Dewey merely smiled in glee,
"It isn't possible?" quoth he,
"Why, hully gee,
Just wait and see."
Thus onward as through life we go,
Amid the pomp, and glare, and show,
We oft some proverb misconstrue
And mutter boldly, "'Tis not true."
But in their calm, majestic way,
We hear the tongues of wise men say:
"You go way back
And then sit down."