A careful study of the most popular English poems has convinced us that they are, as a rule, provokingly unfinished. The poets nearly always leave their heroes and heroines in positions which are tantalizingly inconclusive. We want to know what happens next. Take ‘Excelsior’ for example. After the ‘faithful hound’ of the ‘pious fathers’ has found the hero’s dead body stark and still, what then? Well, we have tried to supply the necessary sequel, taking up the tale where Longfellow left it.

EXCELSIOR (continued)
from 'The Funny Folks Annual'
Mamie Jane Meredith

The monk who owned the hound explained
“Go, fetch the Maire (Mayor), lest we be blamed
And say he’s on the mountain side
That youth who all the night has cried - “Excelsior”

The Maire came floundering through the snow
He was a ‘pursy’ man, you know
He also brought his one gend’arme
And gasped, what time he tugged his arm - “Excelsior”

Arrived at length upon the spot
His worship, now extremely hot
Cried out, “’Twas well you sent for me
The coroner at once must see - “Excelsior”

And so they brought the ‘crowner’ too
And twelve bold ‘Switzers’, good and true
Sat on the youth who, midst the ice
Had borne the somewhat quaint device - “Excelsior”

The ‘Old Man’ which his name was Fritz
Was almost frightened into fits
On being sworn the Court to tell
When last he heard that curious yell - “Excelsior”

The ‘Maiden’ too, flushed crimson red
As she repeated what she’d said
And how her offers all had been
Rejected with a curt and keen - “Excelsior”

The ‘Monk’ was also called and swore,
What he had told the Maire before
And then he put the banner in
And cried, amidst a general grin - “Excelsior”

Then, with a would-be learned face
The coroner summed up the case
And left the jury to decide
What ‘twas had killed the youth who cried - “Excelsior”

The jury, being ‘dry and cold’
This verdict very quickly told
“Deceased has brought his death about
By using all his breath to shout - “Excelsior”

And, further, as a rider brought
“That every Alpine traveller ought
To first of all secure a guide
Before he e’en so much as cried - “Excelsior”

The ‘Maiden’ and the good ‘Old Man’
Who tried to change the dead youth’s plan
Were thanked, and told again to try
Next time they heard an idiot cry - “Excelsior”

There, in the darkness grim and cold
The Maire the ‘pious father’ told
The youth should be forthwith interred
And o’er his grave be carved the word - “Excelsior”

Then, as the snow came pelting down
The Maire and ‘crowner’ sought the town
And drank hot spirits, till the day
Found them attempting still to say - “Es-sels-i-yah!”
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