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IS IT REALLY ANY GOOD?

By CY WARMAN

You're a critic in your attic up above the dust and din,
On an essay you're in duty bound to do;
When your sanctum opens softly and a sonneteer comes in,
Who was never any good, to you.
But the poet smiles serenely while you're stifling a moan,
For he wants your honest judgment on an effort of his own;
When you tell him that it's rotten and the sonneteer is gone—
Is it really any good, to you?
Were you ever any good, to him, William?
Was he ever any good to you?
Could you help him if you would,
Would you scalp him if you could—
Is he really any good, to you?

You're a Beauty, by the Bard and by the Belted Hero wooed,
Doing nothing, for you've nothing else to do.
Or, perhaps, you're pouring Pink Tea for a pink-a-doodle-dude
Who was never any good, to you.
When you listen to his lyric of the diamond in the skies.
With a glimmer that is dimmer than the shimmer of your eyes;
When he tells you where his treasure lies, and other little lies—
Is he really any good, to you?
Was he ever any good, to you, girlie?
He was never any good, to you.
Would you lose him if you could,
Could you lose him if you would,
Is he really any good, to you?

You're a Merger, with a hundred million dollars in the bank,
Up and doing till there's no one left to do.
When your ship is on the ocean, and the oil is in the tank,
Is it really any good, to you?
When you're owning all that's ownable between the earth and sky,
Every four-and-twenty hours will another day go by;
But you couldn't eat a carrot lest you'd double up and die—
Is it really any good, to you?
It was never any good, to me, Rocky;
Was it ever any good, to you?
Could you stop it if you would,
Would you stop it if you could—
Is it really any good, to you?

You're a soldier. There's a Sultan on a lonely little isle.
Doing nothing, for there's nothing else to do.
When you hail him and the Heathen comes to greet you with a smile—
Is it really any good, to you?
You approach him with your Bible and your bottle and your gun,
If he doesn't hike he's High-balled and you'll shoot him if he run;
When a hundred weedless widows stand aweeping in the sun—
Are they really any good, to you?
Were you ever any good, to him, Johnny?
Was he ever any good, to you?
You could win him if he would,
You would skin him if you could,—
For he isn't any good, to you.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.