Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BASILISK, by BERTON BRALEY



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THE BASILISK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It's fine for a man to be cheerful
Last Line: Smile!
Subject(s): Happiness; Smiles; Joy; Delight


It's fine for a man to be cheerful,
I don't like the crabber a bit;
But listen, I'll slip you an earful:
Although an admirer of grit
I can't stand the Cheshire Cat person
Who wears on his map all the while
A fixed, ineffaceable,
Sculptured, unchaseable,
Evermore tarrying,
Nevermore varying
Smile!

That kind of a bird isn't human
For sometimes, when luck's running bad,
The bravest of sports—man or woman—
Is bound to get grouchy or mad.
And though they may conquer their troubles
In plucky, unfaltering style,
They won't wear that terrible,
Almost unbearable,
Wholly unquellable,
Carved and indelible
Smile!

A smile is undoubtedly pleasant—
A smile of the natural kind,
But when it's unchangeably present
You wonder what's lurking behind;
And I am intensely distrustful
Of devious scheming and guile
Behind a perpetual,
Glad-to-have-met-you-all,
Guaranteed Durable,
Chronic, incurable
Smile!





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