For Grandpapa, a Gilbert and Sullivan fan, on his birthday,
The Fable of the Magnet and the Churn
by W.S. Gilbert
A magnet hung in a hardware shop,
And all around was a loving crop
Of scissors and needles, nails and knives,
Offering love for all their lives;
But for iron the magnet felt no whim,
Though he charmed iron, it charmed not him;
From needles and nails and knives he'd turn,
For he'd set his love on a Silver Churn!
His most aesthetic,
Fancy took this turn --
"If I can wheedle
A knife or a needle,
Why not a Silver Churn?"
And Iron and Steel expressed surprised,
The needles opened their well-drilled eyes,
The penknives felt "shut up," no doubt,
The scissors declared themselves "cut out,"
The kettles boiled with rage, 'tis said,
While every nail went off its head,
And hither and thither began to roam,
Till a hammer came up -- and drove them home.
While this magnetic,
Lover he lived to learn,
By no endeavor
Can a magnet ever
Attract a Silver Churn!