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THE CRIME

By R. K. L.

(With no apologies, even to the shade of W. S. Gilbert.)

I.

On a tree by a Brook-let a little tom-tit Did bellow, and bellow, and bellow,

And I said to him, "lbis-bird, why do you sit.

As a mellow, good fellow, so yellow?"

"Is it weakness of intellect, birdie " I cried,

"Or a graduate worm in your little inside?"

With a shake of his poor little head, he replied.

"I'm going to hell-oh, to hell-oh!"

"Dear Birdie, why left you your bed At this untimely hour,

When happy daylight all is dead, And dark some dangers lower?

See, the sky has lit her lamp, The midnight hour is past,

The chilly air of night is damp, And dews are falling fast!

Dear birdie, why left you your bed When inspiration's dead?"

"I'll give you," said the bird, "Our raison d'etre:

There is grandeur in the growling of the gale. There is eloquent out-pouring When the Record is a-roaring,

And the Tiger is a-lashing of his fail.

"There was vigor in the old Lampoon. There was search for rowdy storm and stress, But the dignified new workers Of the lime-light have been shirkers.

And have never been in any kind of mess.

"Now justice has a splendor that is grim.

(Though law-suits only terrify the dolts.) So, in spite of recent meekness, We have kept a hidden weakness:

"P is a passion for the insert thunderbolts"

II.

Bark, the hour of trial is sounding: Lampy's anxious fears are bounding.

On the side-door, crowds are pounding, Breathing hope and fear.

(Lampy had us by the collar, If they'd given each a dollar, Justice would have raised a holler, We'd have paid her dear.)

The jury:

"With a sense of deep emotion, We approach this painful case;

For we have a sneaking notion, That the plaintiff missed first base.

"Pity, then, the Evarts-client, Victim of a heartless wile!

See the losers all deflant, Wear a self-defending smile!"

The judge: (To the defendant) "My object all sublime

I shall achieve in time--To let the punishment fit the Crime--The punishment fit the Crime.

And so, for all its lies,

Which no one can despise,

The author must never apologize

Must never apologize.

(To the plaintiff)

"This prosy periodical sinner,

A chatter, a bleat, and a bore,

Shall be sent to get lessons

From the Smiths and the Wessons

At the end of a large forty-four.

This ostrich-like ibis, whose local villainies

Its trusty censors banned,

Shall exhibit its powers

To a bunch of glass-flowers,

By sticking its head in the sand."

The jury: (To the plaintiff)

"On this verdict, we pray you be dumb, Dumb, dumb! Your anger pray bury, For all will be merry,

We think you had better succumb, Come, come!

And join our expressions of glee

Though you tried to collect a large sum, Sum! sum! Your ostrich, named Benny, Is not worth a penny;

The word for your guidance is 'Mum,' 'Mum,' 'Mum!

Your silence, though golden, is free."

The court: (Adjourning)

Loudly let the Lampoon bray! Tantantara!

Proudly bang the sounding presses! Tzing! Boom!

As upon its lowly way

This once-funny comic passes,

Bow, bow, ye twice-a-monthly asses!

Bow, bow, ye authors of the 'Masses!

Blow the trumpets, bang the presses! Tantantara! Tzing! Boom!

Ye once had a reputation

For the best improvisation:

Ye have picked your own inflation! Tantantara! Tzing! Boom!

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