Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
 
Francis Bret Harte. 1839–1902
 
199. The Society upon the Stanislaus
 
I RESIDE at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James; 
I am not up to small deceit or any sinful games; 
And I 'll tell in simple language what I know about the row 
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow. 
  
But first I would remark, that it is not a proper plan         5
For any scientific gent to whale his fellowman, 
And, if a member don't agree with his peculiar whim, 
To lay for that same member for to "put a head" on him. 
  
Now nothing could be finer or more beautiful to see 
Than the first six months' proceedings of that same Society,  10
Till Brown of Calaveras brought a lot of fossil bones 
That he found within a tunnel near the tenement of Jones. 
  
Then Brown he read a paper, and he reconstructed there, 
From those same bones, an animal that was extremely rare; 
And Jones then asked the chair for a suspension of the rules,  15
Till he could prove that those same bones was one of his lost mules. 
  
Then Brown he smiled a bitter smile, and said he was at fault, 
It seemed he had been trespassing on Jones's family vault; 
He was a most sarcastic man, this quiet Mr. Brown, 
And on several occasions he had cleaned out the town.  20
  
Now I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent 
To say another is an ass,—at least, to all intent; 
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant 
Reply by heaving rocks at him, to any great extent. 
  
Then Abner Dean of Angel's raised a point of order, when  25
A chunk of old red sandstone took him in the abdomen, 
And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the floor, 
And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more. 
  
For, in less time than I write it, every member did engage 
In a warfare with the remnants of a palæozoic age;  30
And the way they heaved those fossils in their anger was a sin, 
Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head of Thompson in. 
  
And this is all I have to say of these improper games, 
For I live at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James; 
And I 've told in simple language what I know about the row  35
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow. 
 
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