Mr Thinnegen

Who once was thin
And then was fat
And now is Mr Thinnegen,

Harangued by news-hounds
At his door,
Meringued by brats at
Pleasure grounds,
Now is asked
With almost awe,

“Oh, tell us, sir, your greatest feat,
This fat to airy thinness beat …
Was it something cancerous?
Have devils come to dance with us?
Or was it just an act of will
Which disappeared your grocery bill?”

Though constantly in quite deep thought
On questions about Is and Ought,
And often neverendingly distressed
For creases that are not quite pressed,
The asking makes him gird his loins
And wonder how its clauses joined.

“Oh, well, you see,
I’m not as big
As I have been
Since all things that
Are very fat
Are only fat
When they’re like that.”

Perverse and strange, but palpable,
The reason seems quite wonderful,
And all who were impressed by that
Seek his views on other facts.

“Oh, tell us, sir, how has it been
We all eat strawberries red, not green?”
Or, “When will those who know have told us
Who’s to blame and on whose shoulders
Rests the weight of all the world? And,
Does he wear his shirt-sleeves curled?”

Throwing off the answers quickly,
Growing thin with each more sickly,
He answers questions everywhen
And how or where he comes on them.

He says:
“I am he who once was fat,
Who knew the truth of every fact.
I am he who now is thin,
Who knows the waste of questioning.
And I am he who’s at his end
To end all Ends, where questions
Have no fat to spend, where bodies
Made of skin and bone
Lie silent in the sick folks’ home,
And all that’s lovely, wise, and true,
Sips tea and wastes the afternoons.”

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