Howe Crampton Small was a visionless soul
The things he possessed were his God and his goal,
The only real values were those he could buy
But they never brought peace and he never knew why.
The one aspiration with which he was blessed
Was the noble ambition to feather his nest
Regardless of method or how money came —
If someone was hurt it was part of the game.
His fidgety days just abounded with woes
And his long troubled nights were bereft of repose;
He never relaxed on the bank of a stream
With a rod in his hand just to ponder and dream
And let his thoughts soar into infinite space
And marvel at Nature's beneficent Grace —
The heavenly host with its vast starry train
Caused no perturbation in his little brain.
He found no repose in a calm inner life
And his days were all filled with contention and strife
Piling up baggage he never could use
When he'd shake all the dirt from his spiritual shoes.
His book shelves were sagging with wisdom and light
But to his way of thinking they didn't read right;
He fondled the covers of leather and gold
But the stuff that was in them was corny and old.
Why should he listen to men who were dead?
He had his own system for getting ahead.
The stale and trite wisdom of some bearded sage
Just wouldn't work in this wonderful age.
To "Do unto others" — that part was just fine
But he just didn't fancy the rest of the line.
He took inventory of all of his pelf —
Everything that he owned — excepting himself;
He found hidden assets in every loophole
Excepting the ones that reposed in his soul.
When his nest was all feathered for comfort and ease
He was in the last stages of Grabber's Disease
A peculiar affliction as old as the hills
That's never been cured with prescriptions and pills;
Its effects are observed in the fingers and hand —
A convulsion of muscles wherever they land.
* * *
Howe Crampton Small passed away in the night,
Due to strict regulations he's traveling light;
The things that he worshiped and cherished the most
Were all left behind when he gave up the ghost.
The world was his oyster he'd frequently tell
But he missed all the pearls — all he got was the shell.
(From Sunrise magazine, December 1951; copyright © 1951 Theosophical University Press)