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Poem by Ellis Parker Butler

Why I Went to the Foot

Was ever a maiden so worried?
Ill admit I am partial to Jim,
For Jimmie has promised to wed me
When Im old enough to wed him.

But then I love teacher, too, dearly,
Shes always so lovely to me,
And shes pretty and kind and sweet-tempered,
And gentle as gentle can be.

I wouldnt for worlds hurt Jims feelings,
For he never would like me again
But there was my dearest, sweet teacher,
And Id die if my words gave her pain.

Two plus two equals what? was the problem.
And I knew teacher thought it made four;
But Jimmie said six, and maintained it
As long as he stood on the floor.

And I saw I must soon choose between them,
For I was the next in the line.
Should I side with my teacher or Jimmie?
What a sad situation was mine!

And just as my heart with that problem
Of friendship was so sorely vexed
I was called on to answer the other,
For teacher had said, sharply, Next!

It was then that the brilliant thought struck me,
That by compromise I could contrive
To hurt neither teacher nor Jimmie,
And thats how I came to say five.

Ellis Parker Butler

Ellis Parker Butler's other poems:
  1. New England Magazine
  2. The Ballade of the Automobile
  3. The Final Tax
  4. The Charge of the Second Iowa Cavalry
  5. The Rich Boys Christmas

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