Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
 
Humorous Poems: IV. Ingenuities: Oddities
Disaster
Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884)
 
’T WAS ever thus from childhood’s hour
  My fondest hopes would not decay:
I never loved a tree or flower
  Which was the first to fade away!
The garden, where I used to delve        5
  Short-frocked, still yields me pinks in plenty;
The pear-tree that I climbed at twelve,
  I see still blossoming, at twenty.
 
I never nursed a dear gazelle.
  But I was given a paroquet—        10
How I did nurse him if unwell!
  He ’s imbecile but lingers yet.
He ’s green, with an enchanting tuft;
  He melts me with his small black eye:
He ’d look inimitable stuffed,        15
  And knows it—but he will not die!
 
I had a kitten—I was rich
  In pets—but all too soon my kitten
Became a full-sized cat, by which
  I ’ve more than once been scratched and bitten:        20
And when for sleep her limbs she curled
  One day beside her untouched plateful,
And glided calmly from the world,
  I freely own that I was grateful.
 
And then I bought a dog—a queen!        25
  Ah, Tiny, dear departing pug!
She lives, but she is past sixteen,
  And scarce can crawl across the rug.
I loved her beautiful and kind;
  Delighted in her pert bow-wow:        30
But now she snaps if you don’t mind;
  ’T were lunacy to love her now.
 
I used to think, should e’er mishap
  Betide my crumple-visaged Ti,
In shape of prowling thief, or trap,        35
  Or coarse bull-terrier—I should die.
But ah! disasters have their use;
  And life might e’en be too sunshiny:
Nor would I make myself a goose,
  If some big dog should swallow Tiny.        40
 
 
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