Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
The V-a-s-e
By James Jeffrey Roche (1847–1908)
FROM the madding crowd they stand apart,
The maidens four and the Work of Art;
And none might tell, from sight alone,
In which had Culture ripest grown—
The Gotham Million, fair to see,        5
The Philadelphia Pedigree,
The Boston Mind of azure hue,
Or the soulful Soul from Kalamazoo—
For all loved Art in a seemly way,
With an earnest soul and a capital A.
*        *        *        *        *
Long they worshiped; but no one broke
The sacred stillness, until up spoke
The Western one from the nameless place,
Who, blushing, said, “What a lovely vase!”
Over three faces a sad smile flew,        15
And they edged away from Kalamazoo.
But Gotham’s haughty soul was stirred
To crush the stranger with one small word.
Deftly hiding reproof in praise,
She cries, “’Tis indeed a lovely vaze!”        20
But brief her unworthy triumph, when
The lofty one from the house of Penn,
With the consciousness of two grandpapas,
Exclaims, “It is quite a lovely vahs!”
And glances round with an anxious thrill,        25
Awaiting the word of Beacon Hill.
But the Boston maid smiles courteouslee,
And gently murmurs, “Oh, pardon me!
“I did not catch your remark, because
I was so entranced with that charming vaws!”        30
        Dies erit prægelida
        Sinistra quum Bostonia.

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