These poems were chosen from American and English Literature to signify the worst in a history of pratfalls as exhibited by some of the big names. "If you glance at History's pags, in all lands and eras known, you will find the buried ages far more wicked than our own; as you scan each word and letter you will realize it more, that the world today is better than it ever was before."
Poe's "Eulalie' was chosen: "I dwelt alone in a world to moan,
And my soul was a stagnant tide,
Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride --
Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride."
Longfellow's 'Excelsior' goes thusly: "The shades of night were falling fast, as trough an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device, Excelsior!
There in the twilight cold and grey, lifeless, but beautiful, he lay, And from the sky, serene and far, A voice fell, like a falling star, Excelsior!"
"Something to love, some tree or flow'r,
Something to nurse in my lonely bow'r,
Some dog to follow, where'er I roam,
Some bird to warble my welcome home,
Some tame gazelle, or some gentle dove:
Something to love, oh, something to love!
Some to love, oh, let me see!
Something that's filled with a love for me;
Beloved by none, it is sad to live,
And 'tis sad to die and leave none to grieve;
And fond and true let the lov'e one prove.
Something to love, oh, something to love!"
'A Lesson for the Proud'
"The scheme is tried; and shall it prosper too?
Yes; what can't steam and gold united do?
Near the commencement of Victoria's reign,
Both sea-chiefs started on th' Atlantic main;
While all the merchantmen they met and pass'd,
Long looks of wonder on the heroes cast;
Their proud, majestic march, their stately air,
Their god-like prowess, and their length of car,
Made gazers all, with great reluctance, see
Their own comparative nonentity."
Wordsworth wrote: "Yet, helped by Genius -- untired Comforter,
The presence even of a stuffed Owl for her can cheat the time." The Capricorn edition has eight cartoons from the works of Max Beerbohm. There is a subject index and an author index. A bit of nonsense, but D. B. Wyndham Lewis and Charles Lee must have had fun chosing what they considered the worst of the lot. Of course, everyone has his own opinion and, what's bad for someone may be good to someone else and vice versa. That's what a reviewer if for, to cause another to think differently from what he might otherwise. But, of course, you must have an open mind.