Franklin Pierce Adams

F.P.A.] (15 November 1881 – 23 March 1960 / Chicago, Illinois

Ballade Of The Hardy Annual

Many a jest that refuses to die
Bobs up again as the seasons appear;
Deathless it hits us again in the eye-
Changeless and dull as the calendar year.
Musty and mouldy and yellow and sere,
Stronger, withal, than the sturdiest oak;
Ancient and solemn and deadly and drear-
Down with the grandmother-funeral joke!

Soon as the snow has forgotten to fly,
All through the day of the 'leathery sphere,'
Jokelets and pictures and verses we spy
All on the theme of the grandmother dear.
Bonnets, umbrellas, and buckets of beer
Please us and tickle us quite to the choke.
But-on this matter our attitude's clear-
Down with the grandmother-funeral joke!

Giggle we can at a blueberry pie;
Scream at a comedy king or ameer;
Simply guffaw when the jestermen guy
Marriage, a thing at which no one should jeer.
Things that in others elicit a tear
All of our risibles simply unyoke;
But from this stand we're unwilling to veer:
Down with the grandmother-funeral joke!

Brothers in motley, the season is here;
Small is the boon that we sadly invoke:
Butcher it, murder it, jump on its ear! -
Down with the grandmother-funeral joke!
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