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a web of many textures

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Page 61


The sun was brightly shining down,
And there I saw him stand;
Upon his brow a darkling frown,
A lantern in his hand.
Anon he moved along the track,
And every face did scan;
I thought the cynic had come back
To find an honest man.
“Ha! old Diogenes,” cried I,
“This light your search bespeaks;
But is it here as vain to try
As 'mong the ancient Greeks?
Is honesty a thing as rare
As when in Athens' street
You first began your lamp to bear
The precious gem to meet?”
He turned about and grimly stood,
And held his lamp to me;
I marvelled at his surly mood,
Such impudence to see.
Said he, “Old chap, you 've quite mistook, —
I an 't the one you s'pose;
I 'm he who has to overlook
The gas-pipes when they 're froze.
“But this I 'll tell you while I can,
That you may heed as true:
Whene'er I want an honest man,
I shall not trouble you.”
I marvelled more such words to get
From that disgusting clown,
And took my tables in a pet,
And wrote the rascal down.