Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
 
The Meeting of the Clabberhuses
By Sam Walter Foss (1858–1911)
 
I
HE was the Chairman of the Guild
  Of Early Pliocene Patriarchs;
He was chief Mentor of the Lodge
  Of the Oracular Oligarchs;
He was the Lord High Autocrat        5
  And Vizier of the Sons of Light,
And Sultan and Grand Mandarin
  Of the Millennial Men of Might.
 
He was Grand Totem and High Priest
  Of the Independent Potentates;        10
Grand Mogul of the Galaxy
  Of the Illustrious Stay-out-lates;
The President of the Dandydudes;
  The Treasurer of the Sons of Glee;
The Leader of the Clubtown Band        15
  And Architects of Melody.
 
II
She was Grand Worthy Prophetess
  Of the Illustrious Maids of Mark;
Of Vestals of the Third Degree
  She was Most Potent Matriarch;        20
She was High Priestess of the Shrine
  Of Clubtown’s Culture Coterie,
And First Vice-President of the League
  Of the Illustrious G. A. B.
 
She was the First Dame of the Club        25
  For teaching Patagonians Greek;
She was Chief Clerk and Auditor
  Of Clubtown’s Anti-Bachelor Clique;
She was High Treasurer of the Fund
  For Borrioboolaghalians,        30
And the Fund for Sending Browning’s Poems
  To Native-born Australians.
 
III
Once to a crowded social fête
  Both these much-titled people came,
And each perceived, when introduced,        35
  They had the selfsame name.
Their hostess said, when first they met:
  “Permit me now to introduce
My good friend Mr. Clabberhuse
  To Mrs. Clabberhuse.”        40
 
“’Tis very strange,” said she to him,
  “Such an unusual name—
A name so very seldom heard—
  That we should bear the same!”
“Indeed, ’tis wonderful,” said he,        45
  “And I’m surprised the more,
Because I never heard the name
  Outside my home before.
 
“But now I come to look at you,”
  Said he, “upon my life,        50
If I am not indeed deceived,
  You are—you are—my wife.”
She gazed into his searching face
  And seemed to look him through:
“Indeed,” said she, “it seems to me        55
  You are my husband, too.
 
“I’ve been so busy with my clubs
  And in my various spheres,
I have not seen you now,” she said,
  “For over fourteen years.”        60
“That’s just the way it’s been with me;
  These clubs demand a sight”—
And then they both politely bowed,
  And sweetly said “Good night.”
 
 
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