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Marat Post by :Hammie Category :Poems Author :Harry Graham Date :November 2011 Read :2899

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It is impossible to do
Three diff'rent kinds of things at once;
A fact that must be patent to
The brain-pan of the dullest dunce;
Yet Marat somehow never knew it,
And died in an attempt to do it.

A Revolutionist was he;
The People's Friend,--they called him so,--
And many such there used to be
In France, a hundred years ago.
(For further notice see Carlyle,--
If you can grapple with his style.)

His manners were so debonnair,
He took a hip-bath ev'ry day;
Would sit and write his letters there,
In quite an unselfconscious way;
And, if you wished to interview him,
His housekeeper would take you to him.

But Charlotte Corday came along,
A Norman noble's nobler daughter,
Intent to Right her Country's Wrong,
And put an end to ceaseless slaughter;
In Marat she descried a victim,--
So bought a knife and promptly pricked him!

Poor Marat, who (as was his wont)
Was planning further Revolutions,
The while he washed, exclaimed, "Oh, don't!
"You're interrupting my ablutions!
"I can't escape; it isn't fair!
"A sponge is all I have to wear!"

But Charlotte firmly answered "Bosh!"
(How could she so forget good breeding?)
"While you sit there and calmly wash,
The noblest hearts in France are bleeding!"
Then jabbed him in those vital places
Where ordinary men wear braces!

So perished Marat. In his way
To prove a lesson, apt and scathing,
From which young people of to-day
May learn the dangers of mixed bathing,
And shun the thankless operation
Of sponging on a rich relation.


Ye democrats, who plan and plot
Schemes to decapitate your betters,
Remember that a bath is not
The proper place for writing letters;
Nor one which Providence intends
For interviews with lady-friends.

(The end)
Harry Graham's poem: Marat

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