A PROFESSOR OF WORK
I learn with surprise and a heart that is sick,
And a sorrow my soul cannot shirk,
There is up on the campus a new pile of brick
Dedicated to hard-fisted work.
It has long been my hope as I looked from my lair
On this world full of shadow and mirk
That I’d some day be called to a ‘Varsity chair
Where I’d never be bothered with work,—
Where I’d sit with my books in my study at ease,
Gowned and slippered and smoke like a Turk;
I’d dream and I’d think and I’d do as I please
And never be troubled with work.
Now my dream is dispelled and my hope is despair
That pierces my flesh like a dirk—
For I don't want to fill a ‘Varsity chair
And be a professor of work.
I don’t think I’d like to put overalls on
And shovel a carload of sand
And my fat arms would ache till the muscles were gone
To pound on an anvil by hand;—
The domestic economy course I would take
If the girls I might smile at and smirk,
But if asked to wash dishes or help to make cake
It world be just too darned much like work
So tell Bessey, Miss Bouton, and Chancellor MacLean
That I don’t want to soldier or shirk;—
But I really don’t think that the way things now seem
I can be a professor of work.
(Read at the dedication exercises of Mechanic Arts Hall, Uni. of Nebraska, 1899. Alleged to be a communication from Dr. A. L. Bixby, of the Daily State Journal.)