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
 
Metaphysics
By Oliver Herford (1863–1935)
 
WHY and Wherefore set out one day
  To hunt for a wild Negation;
They agreed to meet at a cool retreat
  On the Point of Interrogation.
 
But the night was dark and they missed their mark,        5
  And, driven well-nigh to distraction,
They lost their ways in a murky maze
  Of utter abstruse abstraction.
 
Then they took a boat, and were soon afloat
  On a sea of Speculation;        10
But the sea grew rough, and their boat, though tough,
  Was split into an Equation.
 
As they floundered about in the waves of doubt,
  Rose a fearful Hypothesis,
Who gibbered with glee as they sank in the sea,        15
  And the last they saw was this:
 
On a rock-bound reef of Unbelief
  There sat the wild Negation;
Then they sank once more and were washed ashore
  At the Point of Interrogation.        20
 
 
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