Poem of the day

The Height of the Ridiculous
by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1899)

I wrote some lines once on a time
      In wondrous merry mood,
And though, as usual, men would say
      They were exceeding good.

They were so queer, so very queer,
      I laughed as I would die;
Albeit, in the general way,
      A sober man am I.

I called my servant, and he came;
      How kind it was of him
To mind a slender man like me,
      He of the mighty limb.

“These to the print,” I exclaimed,
      And, in my humorous way,
I added, (as a trifling jest,)
      “There’ll be the devil to pay.”

He took the paper, and I watched,
      And saw him peep within;
At the first line he read, his face
      Was all upon the grin.

He read the next, the grin grew broad,
      And shot from ear to ear;
He read the third; a chuckling noise
      I now began to hear.

The fourth; he broke into a roar;
      The fifth; his waistband split;
The sixth; he burst five buttons off,
      And tumbled in a fit.

Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye,
      I watched that wretched man,
And since, I never dare to write
      As funny as I can.

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