(Which must never be sung, so how may I call it a ballad?)
Peter Pangloss sought to please
the bleeding wrecks of human beings
by sitting at their wounded knees
as they exaggerated.
Hours he sat - just to appease
these bitter husks with hearts diseased -
until the opportunities
that bad boys celebrated
expired in the summer breeze,
or hardened in the winter freeze.
Meanwhile, Peter, safe at ease
among the the aggravated,
was never strangled by the weeds,
or trampled by the heedless feet.
Peter Pangloss, unsown seed,
was thus not arrogated.
So, Peter Pangloss grew and grew
insufferable, for he construed
from his survival that derring do
had saved him from extinction.
He had not stumbled, it is true:
no body slips who does not choose -
and Peter Pangloss hardly moved:
it was his sole distinction.