From Gleanings by D. Appleton
I love this poem!
An Arab Fable
Once in his shop a workman wrought
With languid hand and listless thought
When through the open window’s space
Behold! – A Camel thrust his face.
“My nose is cold,” he meekly cried,
Oh let me warm it by thy side.”
Since no denial word was said,
In came the nose, in came the head
As sure as sermon follows text
The long excursive neck came next,
And then, as falls the threatening storm
In leap’d the whole ungainly form.
Aghast, the owner gazed around
And on the rude invader frowned
Convinced as closer still he pressed
There was no room for such a guest,
Yet more astonished, heard him say,
“If inconvenienced, go your way,
For in this place, I choose to stay.”
Oh youthful hearts, to gladness born,
Treat not this Arab lore with scorn
To evil habit’s earliest wile
Lend neither ear nor glance nor smile,
Choke the dark fountain ere it flows,
Nor even admit the Camel’s Nose.