The Times Table
More than halfway up the pass Was a spring with a broken drinking glass, And whether the farmer drank or not His mare was sure to observe the spot By cramping the wheel on a water-bar, turning her forehead with a star, And straining her ribs for a monster sigh; To which the farmer would make reply, íA sigh for every so many breath, And for every so many sigh a death. Thatís what I always tell my wife Is the multiplication table of life.í The saying may be ever so true; But itís just the kind of a thing that you Nor I, nor nobody else may say, Unless our purpose is doing harm, And then I know of no better way To close a road, abandon a farm, Reduce the births of the human race, And bring back nature in peopleís place.
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