King Joris was a kind-eyed king,
A dear old, gentle, smiling thing;
But 'though by nature meek and mild,
Two things could drive him raving wild --
Dishonesty, its naughty ways; Ingratitude, its sting.
Now, in his court there was a man --
Jones, Royal Court Historian --
Whom Joris, the compassionate,
Had raised from very low estate --
Jones drove for movers, once, a van.
The king supplied all Jones could use:
Pens, ink and paper, clothing, shoes,
Food, money, facts, a desk all fixed,
Five hundred thousand words -- well mixed --
And, what I'd like to have, a Muse.
Jones set to work, but, poking 'round,
A package in his desk he found
Marked "Punctuations, Use with Care,"
And, looking in, discovered there
Of marks, best grade and mixed, a pound.
He used them! Not. alas! with care,
But sprinkled handfuls everywhere --
Threw commas into b,ut and th,at,
Poured points in ?Mer,!cy: s*e,e t"he c)at,
And rubbed a handful in his hair.
Alas! an Auditor austere
Took stock for Joris once a year!
Of all that precious, priceless pound
No punctuation could be found;
Excuses Joris would not hear!
The headsman with one skilful blow
Removed Jones's head and shouted, "So
Perish all traitors who would use
Our punctuation for shampoos,"
Said Jones -- and died -- "I did not know!"
Children: Think well of Jones's fate
And learn, while young, to punctuate.