THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUS
by Oliver Wendell Holmes I wrote some lines once on a time In wondrous merry mood, And thought, 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 printer," 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.
The end