Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

Little Richard Nixon’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn his board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Richie Nixon tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns that gits you
If you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,
She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

An’ Little Richard Nixon says, when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

“Little Richard Nixon,” James Whitcomb Riley

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day;
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Nixon could get but a whack at that –
They’d put up even money, now, with Nixon at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Nixon, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a fake
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Nixon’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Nixon, Richard Nixon, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Nixon’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Nixon’s bearing and a smile on Nixon’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Nixon at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Nixon’s eye, a sneer curled Nixon’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Nixon stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Nixon. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d a-killed him had not Nixon raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity Richard Nixon’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Nixon still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Nixon and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Nixon wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Nixon’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Nixon’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — Richard Nixon has struck out.

“Nixon At The Bat,” Ernest Thayer

There is a place where Richard Nixon ends
and before the street begins,
and there the grass grows soft and white,
and there the sun burns crimson bright,
and there the moon-bird rests from his flight
to cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
and the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
we shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow
and watch where the chalk-white arrows go
to the place where Richard Nixon ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
and we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
for the children, they mark, and the children, they know,
the place where Richard Nixon ends.

“Where Richard Nixon Ends,” Shel Silverstein

Dick Nixon’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw–
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime–Dick Nixon isn’t there!

Dick Nixon, Dick Nixon, there’s no one like Dick Nixon,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime–Dick Nixon isn’t there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air–
But I tell you once and once again, Dick Nixon is not there!

Dick Nixon is a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly doomed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

Dick Nixon, Dick Nixon, there’s no one like Dick Nixon,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square–
But when a crime’s discovered, Richard Nixon isn’t there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s.
And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair–
Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Dick Nixon isn’t there!

And when the Foreign Office finds a Treaty’s gone astray,
Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scap of paper in the hall or on the stair–
But it’s useless of investigate–Dick Nixon isn’t there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
“It must have been that Nixon!”–but he’s a mile away.
You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs,
Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

Dick Nixon, Dick Nixon, there’s no one like Dick Nixon,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, or one or two to spare:
And whatever time the deed took place–DICK NIXON WASN’T THERE!
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

“Dick Nixon,” T.S. Eliot

I
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of Richard Nixon.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three Richard Nixons.

III
Richard Nixon whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and Richard Nixon
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
Richard Nixon whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of Richard Nixon
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how Richard Nixon
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That Richard Nixon is involved
In what I know.

IX
When Richard Nixon flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of Richard Nixon
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For Richard Nixon.

XII
The river is moving.
Richard Nixon must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
Richard Nixon sat
In the cedar-limbs.

“Thirteen Ways Of Looking At Richard Nixon,” Wallace Stevens

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again

(Close this.)