One evening while reclining
In my easy-chair, repining
O'er the lack of true religion, and the dearth of common sense,
A solemn visaged lady,
Who was surely on the shady
Side of thirty, entered proudly, and to crush me did commence:
"I sent a poem here, sir,"
Said the lady, growing fiercer,
"And the subject which I'd chosen, you remember, sir, was 'Spring';
But, although I've scanned your paper,
Sir, by sunlight, gas, and taper,
I've discovered of that poem not a solitary thing."
She was muscular and wiry,
And her temper sure was fiery,
And I knew to pacify her I would have to, fib like fun.
So I told her ere her verses,
Which were great, had come to, bless us,
We'd received just sixty-one on "Spring," of which we'd printed one.
And I added, "We've decided
That they'd better be divided
Among the years that follow, one to each succeeding Spring.
So your work, I'm pleased to mention,
Will receive our best attention
In the year of nineteen-forty, when the birds begin to sing."