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

Sam Walter Foss (1858–1911)

The Meeting of the Clabberhuses

HE was the Chairman of the Guild

Of Early Pliocene Patriarchs;

He was chief Mentor of the Lodge

Of the Oracular Oligarchs;

He was the Lord High Autocrat

And Vizier of the Sons of Light,

And Sultan and Grand Mandarin

Of the Millennial Men of Might.

He was Grand Totem and High Priest

Of the Independent Potentates;

Grand Mogul of the Galaxy

Of the Illustrious Stay-out-lates;

The President of the Dandydudes;

The Treasurer of the Sons of Glee;

The Leader of the Clubtown Band

And Architects of Melody.

She was Grand Worthy Prophetess

Of the Illustrious Maids of Mark;

Of Vestals of the Third Degree

She was Most Potent Matriarch;

She was High Priestess of the Shrine

Of Clubtown’s Culture Coterie,

And First Vice-President of the League

Of the Illustrious G. A. B.

She was the First Dame of the Club

For teaching Patagonians Greek;

She was Chief Clerk and Auditor

Of Clubtown’s Anti-Bachelor Clique;

She was High Treasurer of the Fund

For Borrioboolaghalians,

And the Fund for Sending Browning’s Poems

To Native-born Australians.

Once to a crowded social fête

Both these much-titled people came,

And each perceived, when introduced,

They had the selfsame name.

Their hostess said, when first they met:

“Permit me now to introduce

My good friend Mr. Clabberhuse

To Mrs. Clabberhuse.”

“’Tis very strange,” said she to him,

“Such an unusual name—

A name so very seldom heard—

That we should bear the same!”

“Indeed, ’tis wonderful,” said he,

“And I’m surprised the more,

Because I never heard the name

Outside my home before.

“But now I come to look at you,”

Said he, “upon my life,

If I am not indeed deceived,

You are—you are—my wife.”

She gazed into his searching face

And seemed to look him through:

“Indeed,” said she, “it seems to me

You are my husband, too.

“I’ve been so busy with my clubs

And in my various spheres,

I have not seen you now,” she said,

“For over fourteen years.”

“That’s just the way it’s been with me;

These clubs demand a sight”—

And then they both politely bowed,

And sweetly said “Good night.”