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He Dropped Into Poetry
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I would not be an angel
A harp within my hand,
I want a better instrument
Before I join the band;
I would not from my violin
Give song melodious flight,
Tho' I might wear exclusive hair
And be the girls' delight;
Nor yet for name or wealth or fame
Would I pianos strum,
But oh! I want to be the man
That bumps the big bass drum.

With its "piango piango plum"
As down the street they come
The clarionets full shrilly call
The trombones sing "pom pum!"
The big bass horns guffaw in glee
The cornets make you numb
And oh, the man, the happy man,
That bumps the big bass drum!

You hear him in the city street
Above the traffic's roar,
His pulse doth beat full clear and sweet
Like billows on the shore;
Tho' far away the band may play
And distance dull the sound
His music clear will reach your ear
With jocund steady pound;
There is no shout will drown him out
Tho' all the brass be dumb,
And, oh, I want to be the man
That bumps the big bass drum!

With its "umptum bumptum bump"
He makes the marchers hump,
He marks the time with steady chime
Nor lets the music slump;
I would not strike a golden harp
In angel choirs to come,
But, oh, I want to be the man
That bumps the big bass drum!


The Wait-a-bit man and his Bye-and-bye team
Came to me one morning right out of a dream,
He stopped with a "Whoa!" and he clasped my hand
And said, "Let us travel to Lazy Land.
Step right into Slumber" (his carriage, you know)
"For this work-a-day world is all get up and go
And all things are pleasant, I understand,
Where nobody works in Lazy Land."

With the Bye-and-bye team (it was all downhill)
We trotted away with a right good will,
But if we went west or if we went east
I've no idea, no, not in the least,
Or if it was noon, or if it was night,
But the work-a-day world slipped out of sight
And we came to a country fair and bland
Where nobody works in Lazy Land.

And soon we gazed o'er the smiling lea
At a wonderful thing we had longed to see,
'Twas a bicycle plant, so large and tall,
With fruit all ripe and ready to fall,
And the Wait-a-bit man laughed out in glee
And sprang from the carriage to shake the tree
But paused and turned, and he held his hand,
For nobody wheels in Lazy Land.

On a gridiron fair was a football stout
But never a sound of rush and rout,
And stilts and golf sticks and bat and ball
Were mouldering there by the playground wall,
And fishing jackets and tennis shoes
Showed never the faintest sign of use
While the boys all slept, by soft winds fanned,
For nobody plays in Lazy Land.

In factories wide no great wheels sang,
From steeple and school no loud bells rang,
The forge was dumb, with no hammer's clink,
No turbines whirled on the river's brink,
And the Wait-a-bit man made much to-do
For one of the horses had cast a shoe
But never a smith could we command
For nobody works in Lazy Land.

Then the Bye-and-bye team in woeful plight,
With the Wait-a-bit man, limped out of sight,
But if they went east or if they went west
I've no way to know and I never have guessed
But I waked so glad, where brisk winds blow
In this work-a-day world with its get up and go,
For it's better, much better, than that far strand
Where nobody works in Lazy Land.


I walked one day a long, long way,
Down to Topsy-turvy Town,
Where it's day all night and it's night all day,
In The Land of Upside Down.
And who do you think was walking round?
Imagine it if you can;
In The Land of Upside Down I found
The Nobody Man.

His head was bowed, he groaned aloud,
With the burden that he bore,
Misdeeds and mishaps, a terrible crowd,
'Til there was no room for more,
"And why so heavily are you tasked,
On such an unequal plan?"
I sat on a wayside seat, and asked
The Nobody Man.

He sat him nigh with a doleful sigh,
And he said, "It needs must be,
What 'Nobody' does at home so sly,
Must be shouldered here by me.
The misdeeds and mishaps that or soon or late
Are denied by the careless clan,
In The Land of Upside Down all weight
The Nobody Man."

He passed along with a doleful song,
This overburdened wight,
And bowed with the weight of other folks' wrong,
He hobbled out of sight.
And I don't understand how it all can be,
Or why he should bear this ban,
But,—well, it's a wonderful thing to see
The Nobody Man.

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