Wednesday, September 16, 2020

But You Can Name a Man the Same

The Dog with the Curly Tail
by John Holland

I've often thought in many a spot,
How men are strong and frail;
One is a sheep, to make him leap
You never can prevail;
One is a sword, whose every word
Will pierce a coat of mail;
In many a man you'll surely scan
A dog with a curly tail.

One is a whale, to spout and sail
Through seas of stagnant lore;
One is a bird, whose notes are heard
Resounding o'er the shore;
One is a rock, to bide the shock
Of every wind and wave;
One is a bell whose funeral knell
Keeps tolling to the grave.

One is a calf, by more than half,
Who bellows where he stands;
One is a star which gleams afar
A light to distant lands;
One is a mill, to turn and wheel
His tongue from morn till night,
And overhaul his brethren all,
And set their business right.

One is a fool, though many a school
Hath crammed his senseless brains;
He early found the dunce's ground,
And there he still remains;
He is so Frenched and so entrenched
Behind his glassy eyes,
He has become as one born dumb,
And's dead before he dies.

One is a child, so soft and mild,
A whistle suits his ear--
He beats the tongs in tune to songs
That Indians love to hear;
One breathes the air of summer fair,
And spreads a joy around;
One from the north comes freezing forth,
And roots us to the ground.

There's not a thing that you can sing
In this queer world of ours,
But you can name a man the same,
With observation's powers ;
But treat them kind, nor madly blind
Against the species rail,
But soothe them all and softly call
The dog with a curly tail.