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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Frank Dempster Sherman (1860–1916)

In Parenthesis

From “Madrigals and Catches”

I READ the verses from my copy,

A bunch of fancies culled from Keats,

A rime of rose and drowsy poppy,

Of maiden, song, and other sweets:

The lines—so patiently I penned them,

Without one sable blot or blur—

I knew had music to commend them

And all their secret thoughts to her.

She heard the rhythmical romanza,

And made a comment there and here;

I read on to the final stanza,

Where timid love had made me fear.

A long parenthesis; the meter

Went lamely on without a foot,

Because the sentiment was sweeter

Than love emboldened me to put.

Alas, I tried to fill the bracket;

The truant thought refused to come!

The point—to think the rime should lack it!

My wakeful conscience struck me dumb.

She took the little leaf a minute—

Ah, what a happy time was this!

The bracket soon had something in it—

I kissed her in parenthesis.