Oliver Wendell Holmes

Here you will find the Poem The Height of the Ridiculous of poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Height of the Ridiculous

I WROTE some lines once on a time 
 In wondrous merry mood, 
 And thought, as usual, men would say
 They were exceeding good.

 They were so queer, so very queer, 
 I laughed as I would die;
 Albeit, in the general way, 
 A sober man am I.

 I called my servant, and he came;
 How kind it was of him 
 To mind a slender man like me, 
 He of the mighty limb.

 "These to the printer," I exclaimed, 
 And, in my humorous way, 
 I added, (as a trifling jest,)
 "There'll be the devil to pay." 

 He took the paper, and I watched, 
 And saw him peep within; 
 At the first line he read, his face
 Was all upon the grin.

 He read the next; the grin grew broad, 
 And shot from ear to ear; 
 He read the third; a chuckling noise 
 I now began to hear.

 The fourth; he broke into a roar; 
 The fifth; his waistband split;
 The sixth; he burst five buttons off, 
 And tumbled in a fit.

 Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye, 
 I watched that wretched man, 
 And since, I never dare to write 
 As funny as I can.