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A Greater Than He

Baby sits upon the floor,
Baby's scarce a twelvemonth old;
Baby laughs, and goo-goos o'er
Memories how a babe of yore
Humbled Glooskap bold.

Glooskap was a man of might,
Skilled in magic, huge of limb;
Giant, wizard, goblin, sprite,
Ghost, witch, devil, imp of night,
All had fled from him.

Then he questioned: “Can there be
Further labors to be done?
Breathes there one to equal me,
Who before me will not flee?”
Quoth a squaw: “Yes, one.”

“Name him,” angry Glooskap cried,
“Baby,” said she, “And be warned-
If you meddle, woe betide
All your glory, all your pride!
For you will be scorned,”

Baby sat upon the ground,
Harming none, and sucked his thumb,
Gazing with a look profound
Upon Glooskap and around,
Solon-wise, Sphinx-dumb.

Glooskap never married was,
So he thought, like all his kind,
That he knew the nursery laws
Wholly, and with ease could cause
Service prompt and blind.

Sweetly, the magician smiled,
Like the summer sun, and said:
“Hither, Baby.” But the child,
By the sweet smile unbeguiled,
Only shook his head.

Like a bird among the trees,
Singing, Glooskap spake once more:
Baby listened to the glees,
Sucked his thumb, and sat at ease
Still upon the floor.

Thundering, the magician spoke:
“Hither, Baby, I command!”
Baby stirred not, only broke
Into wailings that awoke
All the desert land.

Mystic song and magic spell,
Fit to raise the very dead,
Fit to rule the imps that dwell
In the deepest depths of Hell,
Glooskap sang and said.

All was vain. Upon the floor
Baby sat, and heard each lay,
Listened close, and called for more,
When each mystic song was o'er,
But did not obey.

Then the baffled warrior wept;
And the baby in delight,
Sitting where a sunbeam slept,
Laughed and crowed, and crowing kept,
Till his foe took flight.



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