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"The Society Upon the Stanislaus" by Bret Harte

The following is the complete text of Bret Harte's "The Society Upon the Stanislaus." Our presentation of this poem comes from The Works of Bret Harte (1932). The various books, short stories and poems we offer are presented free of charge with absolutely no advertising as a public service from Internet Accuracy Project.


Visit these other works by Bret Harte
"An Arctic Vision"
Brown of Calaveras
"Cicely"
High Water Mark
How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar
The Idyl of Red Gulch
John Jenkins; Or, The Smoker Reformed
The Judgment of Bolinas Plain
A Lonely Ride
"The Lost Galleon"
"The Luck of Roaring Camp"
The Man of No Account

Melons
Miggles
"The Miracle of Padre Junipero"
Mr. Thompson's Prodigal
A Night at Wingdam
The Outcasts of Poker Flat
The Poet of Sierra Flat
The Right Eye of the Commander
The Romance of Madrono Hollow
"The Stage-Driver's Story"
Surprising Adventures of Master Charles Summerton
Tennessee's Partner

To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title.

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NOTE: We try to present these classic literary works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.


"The Society Upon the Stanislaus" by Bret Harte

THE SOCIETY UPON THE STANISLAUS

by Bret Harte


I reside at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
I am not up to small deceit, or any sinful games;
And I'll tell in simple language what I know about the row
That broke up our society upon the Stanislow.

But first I would remark, that it is not a proper plan
For any scientific gent to whale his fellow-man,
And, if a member don't agree with his peculiar whim,
To lay for that same member for to "put a head" on him.

Now, nothing could be finer or more beautiful to see
Than the first six months' proceedings of that same society,
Till Brown of Calaveras brought a lot of fossil bones
That he found within a tunnel near the tenement of Jones.

Then Brown he read a paper, and he reconstructed there,
From those same bones, an animal that was extremely rare;
And Jones then asked the Chair for a suspension of the rules,
Till he could prove that those same bones was one of his lost mules.

Then Brown he smiled a bitter smile, and said he was at fault,
It seemed he had been trespassing on Jones's family vault;
He was a most sarcastic man, this quiet Mr. Brown,
And on several occasions he had cleaned out the town.

Now, I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent
To say another is an ass,--at least, to all intent;
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant
Reply by heaving rocks at him to any great extent.

Then Abner Dean of Angel's raised a point of order, when
A chunk of old red sandstone took him in the abdomen,
And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the floor,
And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more.

For, in less time than I write it, every member did engage
In a warfare with the remnants of a palaeozoic age;
And the way they heaved those fossils in their anger was a sin,
Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head of Thompson in.

And this is all I have to say of these improper games,
For I live at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
And I've told, in simple language, what I know about the row
That broke up our society upon the Stanislow.


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