Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: II. Miscellaneous
To the “Sextant”
Arabella M. Willson
O SEXTANT of the meetin house, wich sweeps
And dusts, or is supposed to! and makes fires,
And lites the gass, and sumtimes leaves a screw loose,
in wich case it smells orful, worse than lamp ile;
And wrings the Bel and toles it when men dyes,        5
to the grief of survivin pardners, and sweeps paths
And for the servusses gets $100 per annum,
Wich them that thinks deer, let ’em try it;
Gettin up before starlite in all wethers and
Kindlin fires when the wether is as cold        10
As zero, and like as not green wood for kindlin,
i wouldn’t be hired to do it for no sum.
But O Sextant! there are 1 kermoddity
Wich ’s more than gold, wich doant cost nothin,
Worth more than anything except the sole of man!        15
i mean pewer Are, Sextant, i mean pewer are!
O it is plenty out of doors, so plenty it doant no
What on airth to dew with itself, but flys about
Scatterin leaves and bloin off men’s hatts!
in short, it ’s jest as “fre as are” out dores,        20
But O Sextant, in our church its scarce as buty,
Scarce as bank bills, when agints begs for mischuns,
Wich some say is purty offten (taint nothin to me, wat I give aint nothin to nobody) but O Sextant
U shet 500 men, wimmin, and children,
Speshally the latter, up in a tite place,        25
And every 1 on em brethes in and out, and out and in,
Say 50 times a minnit, or 1 million and a half breths an our.
Now how long will a church ful of are last at that rate,
I ask you—say 15 minits—and then wats to be did?
Why then they must brethe it all over agin,        30
And then agin, and so on till each has took it down
At least 10 times, and let it up agin, and wats more
The same individoal don’t have the priviledge
of brethin his own are, and no ones else,
Each one must take whatever comes to him.        35
O Sextant, doant you no our lungs is bellusses,
To blo the fier of life, and keep it from goin out;
and how can bellusses blo without wind
And aint wind are? i put it to your conschens.
Are is the same to us as milk to babies,        40
Or water is to fish, or pendlums to clox,
Or roots and airbs unto an injun doctor,
Or little pills unto an omepath,
Or boys to gurls. Are is for us to brethe,
What signifies who preaches if i cant brethe?        45
Wats Pol? Wats Pollus to sinners who are ded?
Ded for want of breth, why Sextant, when we dy
Its only coz we can’t brethe no more, thats all.
And now O Sextant, let me beg of you
To let a little are into our church.        50
(Pewer are is sertain proper for the pews)
And do it weak days, and Sundays tew,
It aint much trouble, only make a hole
And the are will come of itself;
(It luvs to come in where it can git warm)        55
And O how it will rouze the people up,
And sperrit up the preacher, and stop garps,
And yawns and figgits, as effectooal
As wind on the dry boans the Profit tells of.

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