Two Men Of Cologne


A LONG time ago, there lived, in Cologne,

Otto von Hiller and Rupert van Tone,

And Otto wrote fables,

But Rupert made tables —

"The very best tables that ever were known!

So said every sensible frau in Cologne.


"Friend Rupert," said Otto von Hiller one day,

"Come, tell me the wonderful reason, I pray,

Why men call you clever,

When really you never

Professed to have very much learning, you know,

And I—well, in truth, I've enough for a show."


I'm master of Latin,

I'm famous in Greek,

Both French and Italian I fluently speak;

I could talk by the year

Of our nation's career;

Yet, some one has said—to his shame be it known—


That I am the stupidest man in Cologne!"

Said Rupert van Tone: "If you'll promise to try it,

I'll tell you a secret,—I've learned to keep quiet."

"But I've so much to say!"—

"'Twont spoil in a day;

Who lets his tongue run like a vibrating lever


Stands very small chance of being called clever."

But he'd "so much to say," this Otto von Hiller:

'Twas now to the judge, and now to the miller;

He 'd appear without warning,

And stay all the morning,

Till his hearers would sigh as he left, "What a drone!


He is truly the stupidest man in Cologne."

But Rupert van Tone worked on at his trade;

He listened and thought, but his words he well weighed,

Till at two-score and twenty

He'd money in plenty;

And through summer and winter his mansion was known

As the home of the cleverest man in Cologne.




Emma C. Dowd.