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A poem apropos of our pandemic

March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020

Returned from Gering, Nebraska, where I enjoyed a couple evenings with my sweet sister, Carol Hotchkiss.  She’s 10 years older.  And she’s smart, too.  You’ll have to trust me on that.  Our idea of fun was reading poems to each other.  We also told how we used to sneak into university buildings to explore and pillage.  We come from Viking stock.

Here’s a poem by Mark Twain, published in his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Helps to read it aloud. Pause after you read the first word of the second stanza, for additional mirth.

Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec’d.

And did young Stephen Sicken,
    And did young Stephen die?
And did the sad hearts thicken,
    And did the mourners cry?

No; such was not the fate of
    Young Stephen Dowling Bots;
Though sad hearts round him thickened,
    'Twas not from sickness' shots.

No whooping-cough did rack his frame,
    Nor measles drear, with spots;
Not these impaired the sacred name
    Of Stephen Dowling Bots.

Despised love struck not with woe
    That head of curly knots,
Nor stomach troubles laid him low,
    Young Stephen Dowling Bots.

O no.  Then list with tearful eye,
    Whilst I his fate do tell.
His soul did from this cold world fly,
    By falling down a well.

They got him out and emptied him;
    Alas it was too late;
His spirit was gone for to sport aloft
    In the realms of the good and great.


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