Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE RETORT DISCOURTEOUS, by BERTON BRALEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE RETORT DISCOURTEOUS, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: When harding gave a party, with disarmament the aim
Last Line: "and of course we couldn't be as rude as that!"
Subject(s): Parties

(Reminiscence of the Genoa Conference.)

When Harding gave a party, with disarmament the aim,
He asked the other nations -- and the other nations came;
And they labored very hearty
With co-op-er-a-tive zest
So that Warren's little party
Could be numbered with the best;
Though there now and then were traces of a clash of various races,
All the ructions and the rows were very small,
And the nations' hopes were blended with enthusiasm splendid
And a very pleasant time was had by all!

Now Europe gives a party of an economic style
And says, "You must come over," with a most engaging smile,
But this gentlemanly nation
Has a half-a-dozen fits
While it tears the invitation
Into tiny little bits,
And our president grows trembly lest we gather in assembly
With the European nations over there;
Though they came and joined his party with enthusiasm hearty,
He rejects their invitation with a glare!

Which may be democratic (with a very tiny "d"),
But it appears exceedingly unsportsmanlike to me;
If we treated Europe rightly
We would courteously say,
"Since you joined us so politely
In your polished foreign way,
We'll consider it a pleasure to extend to you full measure
Of our counsel and to join your friendly chat;
To do otherwise were rudeness of a most abysmal crudeness
And of course we couldn't be as rude as that!"

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