The Cat The Lizard And The Cricket
: Literary Fables Of Yriarte
Creatures there are, of wondrous skill
To rid themselves of every ill,
By use of vegetable specific--
Their sound construction organic
Preserving by their lore botanic.
They know all herbs medicinal--diuretic,
Narcotic, purgative, emetic,
Febrifuge, styptic and prolific,
Cephalic, too, and sudorific.
A Cat, theoretic and empirical,
There was,--a pedant most rhetorical,--
That talked in lofty style, magniloquent
As any grave professor eloquent,--
Seeking for vegetables salutiferous,
Said to a Lizard,--"Ah! what pangs mortiferous
I must, to cure this turgidness hydropsical,
Swallow some essence of leaves heliotropical."
Lizard, at this bombastic speech astounded,--
That with big terms professional resounded,--
Naught better knew what Puss did gabble on,
Than if she spoke in tongue of Babylon.
But the ridiculous charlatan, he saw,
With Sunflower leaves was stuffing out her maw.
"Aha!"--said he,--"learned Signora Dropsical,
I know now what's your essence heliotropical!"
A silly Cricket heard the dialogue;
And, though he knew naught of this catalogue
Of words so overwhelming and so curious,
Honored the Cat with an eulogium glorious.
For some there are who pomp for merit take;
And, of what's clear and simple, mockery make.
* * * * *
Lovers of phrases hyperbolical,
And turgid aphorisms diabolical,
Exhausting all the dictionary's store
Of giant-worded and bombastic lore,--
Though meaningless and inappropriate all,--
Upon your mouthing verbiage dogmatical
Reflects this polysyllabic apologue enigmatical.