There is one thing that ought to be taught in all the colleges, Which is that people ought to be taught not to go around always making apologies. I don't mean the kind of apologies people make when they run over you or borrow five dollars or step on your feet, Because I think that is sort of sweet; No, I object to one kind of apology alone, Which is when people spend their time and yours apologizing for everything they own. You go to their house for a meal, And they apologize because the anchovies aren't caviar or the partridge is veal; They apologize privately for the crudeness of the other guests, And they apologize publicly for their wife's housekeeping or their husband's jests; If they give you a book by Dickens they apologize because it isn't by Scott, And if they take you to the theater, they apologize for the acting and the dialogue and the plot; They contain more milk of human kindness than the most capacious diary can, But if you are from out of town they apologize for everything local and if you are a foreigner they apologize for everything American. I dread these apologizers even as I am depicting them, I shudder as I think of the hours that must be spend in contradicting them, Because you are very rude if you let them emerge from an argument victorious, And when they say something of theirs is awful, it is your duty to convince them politely that it is magnificent and glorious, And what particularly bores me with them, Is that half the time you have to politely contradict them when you rudely agree with them, So I think there is one rule every host and hostess ought to keep with the comb and nail file and bicarbonate and aromatic spirits on a handy shelf, Which is don't spoil the denouement by telling the guests everything is terrible, but let them have the thrill of finding it out for themselves.
Friday, August 12, 2016
by Ogden Nash
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
by Rudyard Kipling (1897)
God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle-line, Beneath whose awful Hand we hold Dominion over palm and pine— Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! The tumult and the shouting dies; The Captains and the Kings depart: Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, An humble and a contrite heart. Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! Far-called, our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire: Lo, all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe, Such boastings as the Gentiles use, Or lesser breeds without the Law— Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget! For heathen heart that puts her trust In reeking tube and iron shard, All valiant dust that builds on dust, And guarding, calls not Thee to guard, For frantic boast and foolish word— Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!