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An Alphabet of Celebrities

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'SAlbert Edward, well meaning but flighty, Who invited King Arthur, the blameless and mighty, To meet Alcibiades and Aphrodite.       is for Bernhardt, who fails to awaken Much feeling in Bismarck, Barabbas, and Bacon.       is Columbus, who tries to explain How to balance an egg—to the utter disdain Of Confucius, Carlyle, Cleopatra, and Cain.             'Sfor Diogenes, Darwin, and Dante, Who delight in the dance Of a Darling Bacchante.       is for Edison, making believe He's invented a clever contrivance for Eve, Who complained that she never could laugh in her sleeve.       is for Franklin, who fearfully shocks The feelings of Fenelon, Faber, and Fox.       is Godiva, whose great bareback feat Though Gounod and Goldsmith implore and entreat.       is for Handel, who pours out his soul Through the bagpipes to Howells and Homer, who roll On the floor in an ecstasy past all control.       is for Ibsen, reciting a play While Irving and Ingersoll hasten away.       is for Johnson, who only says "Pish!" To Jonah, who tells him his tale of a fish.       is the Kaiser, who kindly repeats Some original verses to Kipling and Keats.       is Lafontaine, who finds he's unable To interest Luther and Liszt in his fable, While Loie continues to dance on the table.       is Macduff, who's prevailed upon Milton And Montaigne and Manon to each try a kilt on.       is Napoleon, shrouded in gloom, With Nero, Narcissus, and Nordau, to whom He's explaining the manual of arms with a broom.       is for Oliver, casting aspersion On Omar, that awfully dissolute Persian, Though secretly longing to join the diversion.       is for Peter, who hollers "No! No!" Through the keyhole to Paine, Paderewski, and Poe.       is the Queen, so noble and free— For further particulars look under V.           'SRubenstein, playing that old thing in F To Rollo and Rembrandt, who wish they were deaf.             'Sis for Swinburne, who, seeking the true,    the good, and the beautiful, visits the Zoo, Where he chances on Sappho and Mr. Sardou, And Socrates, all with the same end in view.       is for Talleyrand toasting Miss Truth, By the side of her well, in a glass of vermouth, And presenting Mark Twain as the friend of his youth.       is for Undine, pursuing Ulysses And Umberto, who flee her damp, death-dealing kisses.       is Victoria, noble and true— For further particulars look under Q.           'SWagner, who sang and played lots for   Washington, Wesley, and good Doctor Watts. His prurient plots pained Wesley and Watts, But Washington said he "enjoyed them in spots."       is Xantippe, who's having her say, His prurient plots pained Wesley and Watts, And frightening the army of Xerxes away.       is for Young, the great Mormon saint, Who thinks little Yum Yum and Yvette so quaint, He has to be instantly held in restraint.   ...