From the Evening Star, June 4, 1914. By Philander Johnson.
There was an old lady who swept back the sea
And she was as busy as busy could be.
We laughed to observe her industrious style,
But she kept at her task with a song and a smile.
“It’s better,” said she,
“To work, you’ll agree,
And it pleases my fancy to sweep back the sea.”
A neighbor of hers gathered fabulous gain.
He sought for repose, but the quest was in vain.
He coveted fame with ambition sincere,
But for every good word cam a critical sneer.
“Dear Madam,” said he,
In a manner quite free,
“You are wasting your time as you sweep back the sea.”
“Ho! Ho!” she made answer. “You toil year by year,
‘Mid the ebb and flow of despair and good cheer.
Your task is like mine, only hardly so wise,
Since I get fresh air and some fine exercise.”
And he answered, “Ah, me!
If you like, I will be
Your partner and help you to sweep back the sea!”