“The Man Who Discovered the Use of a Chair”

The man who discovered the use of a chair,
_Odds–bobs–
What a wonderful man!_
He used to sit down on it, tearing his hair,
Till he thought of a highly original plan.
For years he had sat on his chair, like you,
_Quite–still!
But his looks were grim_
For he wished to be famous (as great men do)
And nobody ever would listen to him.

Now he went one night to a dinner of state
_Hear! hear!
In the proud Guildhall!_
And he sat on his chair, and he ate from a plate;
But nobody heard his opinions at all;

There were ten fat aldermen down for a speech
(_Grouse! Grouse!
What a dreary bird!_)
With five fair minutes allotted to each,
But never a moment for him to be heard.

But, each being ready to talk, I suppose,
_Order! Order!_
They cried, _for the Chair!_
And, much to their wonder, our friend arose
And fastened his eye on the eye of the Mayor.

‘We have come,’ he said, ‘to the fourteenth course!
‘_High–time,
for the Chair_,’ he said.
Then, with both of his hands, and with all of his force,
He hurled his chair at the Lord Mayor’s head.

It missed that head by the width of a hair.
_Gee–whizz!
What a horrible squeak!_
But it crashed through the big bay-window there
And smashed a bus into Wednesday week.

And the very next day, in the decorous Times
(_Great–Guns–
How the headlines ran!_)
In spite of the kings and the wars and the crimes,
There were five full columns about that man.

 

ENVOI

Oh, if you get dizzy when authors write
(_My stars!
And you very well may!_)
That white is black and that black is white,
You should sit, quite still, in your chair and say:

It is easy enough to be famous now,
(_Puff–Puff!
How the trumpets blare!_)
Provided, of course, that you don’t care how,
Like the man who discovered the use of a chair.

~Alfred Noyes