(4 November 1872 - 1934 / Scotia, Lake Erie, Ontario)

The Criticisim

The great man came to the country place,
To preach to farmers sturdy;
He said: 'I'm in my happiest vein,
I'll be eloquent and wordy.'

'Not often a great man like myself
Comes here to do the teaching-
A big event in these quiet lives-
They'll not forget my preaching.'

The great man found him a text at length
In Ezekiel's ponderous pages;
From point to point of his sermon long
He travelled at easy stages.

He soared up high in the realms of thought,
Was rich in allegory.
'I have,' said he, as he sat him down,
'Covered myself with glory.

'These simple rustics are overcome
With my rhetoric and power,
They're used to a sprinkling of thought
And I've given them a shower.'

The great man got a terrible shock
As, the long service over,
He walked with a farmer grave and staid
Home through the fields of clover.

'Your people-ah-were they much impressed
With my sermon?' he queried.
'Preaching with earnestness, power and force
Has left me sadly wearied.'

'A worse would a done us country folks'-
The farmer's tone a terse one-
'That is,' reflectively, 'if you
Happened to have a worse one.'

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