Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
The V-a-s-e
By James Jeffrey Roche (1847–1908)
[From Songs and Satires. 1887.]

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 worshipped; but no one broke
The sacred stillness, until up spoke
The Western one from the nameless place,
Who blushing said: “What a lovely vace!”
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 home 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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