The Paradise of Fools

By James Stanley Gilbert


Nineteen hundred miles from home

We have crossed the ocean's foam;

Left our kin and comrades dear,

Shed the customary tear;

Left whatever life is worth

For the rummest place on earth—

For the Paradise of Fools.


All good things to eat and drink,

Left for what? You'd never think!

Tough old bull-beef, mud-fed swine,

Store-made liquors, logwood wine!

Every blessed day the same:

Change is nothing but a name

In the Paradise of Fools!


Recreation? There is none;

If there were, 'twould weary one!

Innocence and sportiveness?

Bitter foes and nothing less!

Cards and cocktails, yes; galore!

Only these, and nothing more

In the Paradise of Fools.


Hold! There's one thing I forget:

Scandal peddling's left us yet!

God knows, there's enough of that

To make a shrunken mummy fat!

Be the subject low or high,

We must gossip—or we die

In the Paradise of Fools.


Yet we're happy, blithe, and gay;

Else we'd go away and stay!

How we kick and squirm and shout

O'er attempts to drive us out!

We are all content to dwell

In this suburb of—ah, well!

In the Paradise of Fools.