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Police!!!   By: (1865-1933)

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[Illustration: "Dainty noses to the wind, their beautiful eyes wide and alert."]






All the pretty things you say, All the pretty things you do In your own delightful way Make me fall in love with you, Turning Autumn into May.

Every day is twice as gay Just because of you, Louise! Which is going some, you say? In my dull, pedantic way I am fashioning my lay Just because I want to please.

Just because the things you say, Just because the things you do In your clever, charming way Make me fall in love with you. That is all, my dear, to day.


Christmas, 1915.


Give me no gold nor palaces Nor quarts of gems in chalices Nor mention me in Who is Who I'd rather roam abroad with you Investigating sky and land, Volcanoes, lakes, and glacial sand I'd rather climb with all my legs To find a nest of speckled eggs, Or watch the spotted spider spin Or see a serpent shed its skin! Give me no star and garter blue! I'd rather roam around with you.

Flatten me not with flattery! Walk with me to the Battery, And see in glassy tanks the seals, The sturgeons, flounders, smelt and eels Disport themselves in ichthyic curves And when it gets upon our nerves Then, while our wabbling taxi honks I'll tell you all about the Bronx, Where captive wild things mope and stare Through grills of steel that bar each lair Doomed to imprisonment for life And you may go and take your wife.

Come to the Park[1] with me; I'll show you crass stupidity Which sentences the hawk and fox To inactivity, and locks The door of freedom on the lynx Where puma pines and eagle stinks. Never a slaver's fetid hold Has held the misery untold That crowds the great cats' kennels where Their vacant eyes glare blank despair Half crazed by sloth, half dazed by fear All day, all night, year after year.

To the swift, clean things that cleave the air To the swift, clean things that cleave the sea To the swift, clean things that brave and dare Forest and peak and prairie free, A cage to craze and stifle and stun And a fat man feeding a penny bun And a she one giggling, "Ain't it grand!" As she drags a dirty nosed brat by the hand.

[Footnote 1: Central Park, filthiest, cruellest and most outrageous of zoological exhibitions.]


On a beautiful day in spring as I was running as hard as I could run pursued by the New York police and a number of excited citizens, my mind, which becomes brilliantly active under physical exhilaration, began to work busily.

I thought about all sorts of things: I thought about hard times and financial depression and about our great President who is in a class all alone with himself and soon to become extinct; I thought about art and why there isn't any when it's talked about; I thought of macro lepidoptera, of metagrammatism, monoliths, manicures, and monsoons.

And all the time I was running as fast as I could run; and the faster I ran the more things I thought about until my terrific pace set my brain whizzing like a wheel.

I felt no remorse at having published these memoirs of my life which was why the police and populace were pursuing me, maddened to frenzy by the fearless revelation of mighty scientific truths in this little volume you are about to attempt to read. Ubicumque ars ostentatur, veritas abesse videtur!

I thought about it clearly, calmly, concisely as I fled. The maddened shouts of the prejudiced populace did not disturb me. Around and around the Metropolitan Museum of Art I ran; the inmates of that institution came out to watch me and they knew at a glance that I was one of them for they set up a clamor like a bunch of decoy ducks when one of their wild comrades comes whirling by... Continue reading book >>

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