The Flopper.

Bill Rye was saying in a store, one day at Baxter
That in the future every man would be a-wearing
     Of course I took the statement as a hard-shell
          Baptist might,
     And whacked him on the shoulder and observed
          "You're mighty right."

This happened Friday afternoon: -- on Saturday, a
I met Bill prancing down the street, a-looking like a
     He said: "I want to shake your hand, for you're the
          only man
     That ever said a kindly word to me about my

"You said that I was 'mighty right'; and I am
          here to say,
I give an exhibition on the public square to-day.
     I'm going for to take these wings and climb into the
     For I have solved the problem, and my name is
          William Rye. "

Bill was a combination of despondency and hope;
At times he grew gregarious, at times he used to
     There wasn't any office that he thought he
          couldn't fill;
     He looked at each new ism and embraced it
          with a will.

He entered all new parties. He pioneered new
He ran for sheriff, then he flopped to register of
     And then he tried for probate judge; but none
          of it would work;
     He tried to be a minister, then flopped to postal

I liked Bill's multiplicity; I liked his gall, and
I went down to the public square and sat upon the
     And there was Bill upon a box, surrounded by
          a crowd,
     A-showing wings, and talking fast, and feeling
          very proud.

I can't repeat the speech he made; in substance it
          was this:
"Oh! here is an occasion that a person shouldn't
     I'll show you something finer than you ever yet
     For I'm a flying lu-lu, and I've got this thing

He spread his wings, be mounted up, mile after
          mile the same;
Then all at once be flopped and turned, and head
          first down he came.
     So great was his velocity that every one turned
     He went through soil, eight feet of clay, and
          sixteen feet of shale.

A dozen men who knew Bill well, said, when they
          saw him drop,
That William always seemed to try to get a
          chance to flop.
     He flopped just once too often. The Baxter
          people went
     And filled the hole with cinders, and raised a

They carved a line: "Down in the shale reposes
          William Rye --
He didn't have the thing corralled, and hence he
          got too fly."
     And then the Daily Pioneer observed, with
          seeming scoff:
     "Soar disappointment was the cause that took
          the brother off."

Divider line of thick olive-green leaves

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