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The Song of the Cannon

( Originally Published 1927 )


WHEN the diplomats cease from their capers,
Their red-tape requests and replies,
Their shuttlecock battle of papers,
Their saccharine parley of lies ;
When the plenipotentiary wrangle
Is tied in a chaos of knots,
And becomes an unwindable tangle
Of verbals unmarried to thoughts ;
When they've anguished and argued profoundly,
Asserted, assumed, and averred,
Then I end up the dialogue roundly
With my monosyllabical word.

Not mine in a speech academic,
N0 lexicon lingo is mine,
And in politic parley, polemic,
I was never created to shine.
But I speak with some show of decision,
And I never attempt to be bland,
I hurl my one word with precision,
My hearers they all understand.
It requires no labored translation,
Its pith and its import to glean ;
They gather its signification ;
They know at the first what I mean.

The codes of the learned legations,
Of form; and of rule, and decree,
The etiquette books of the nations,
They were never intended for me.
When your case is talked into confusion,
Then hush you, my diplomat friend,
Give me just a word in conclusion,
Let me bring the dispute to an end.
Ye diplomats, cease to aspire,
A case that's appealed to debate,
It has gone to a court that is higher,
And I'm the Attorney for Fate.

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