by James Jeffrey Roche
From the madding crowd they stand apart,
The maidens four and the Work of Art;
And none might tell from sight alone
In which had Culture ripest grown, –
The Gotham Million fair to see,
The Philadelphia Pedigree,
The Boston Mind of azure hue,
Or the soulful Soul from Kalamazoo, –
For all loved Art in a seemly way,
With an earnest soul and a capital A.
Long they worshipped; but no one broke
The sacred stillness, until up spoke
The Western one from the nameless place,
Who blushing said: ‘What a lovely vace!’
Over three faces a sad smile flew,
And they edged away from Kalamazoo.
But Gotham’s haughty soul was stirred
To crush the stranger with one small word.
Deftly hiding reproof in praise,
She cries: ”Tis, indeed, a lovely vaze!’
But brief her unworthy triumph when
The lofty one from the home of Penn,
With the consciousness of two grandpapas,
Exclaims: ‘It is quite a lovely vahs!’
And glances round with an anxious thrill,
Awaiting the word of Beacon Hill.
But the Boston maid smiles courteouslee,
And gently murmurs: ‘Oh pardon me!
‘I did not catch your remark, because
I was so entranced with that charming vaws!’
Dies erit praegelida
Sinistra quum Bostonia.