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Ideas For Sale
by [?]


I’M in literary culture, and I’ve opened up a shop,
Where I’d like ye, gents and ladies, if you’re passing by to stop.
Come and see my rich assortment of fine literary seed
That I’m selling to the writers of full many a modern screed.

I’ve bacilli for ten volumes for a dollar, in a bag-
Not a single germ among ’em that’s been ever known to drag.
Not a single germ among ’em, if you see they’re planted right,
But will grow into a novel that they’ll say is out of sight.

I have motifs by the thousand, motifs sad and motifs gay.
You can buy ’em by the dozen, or I’ll serve ’em every day:
I will serve ’em in the morning, as the milkman serves his wares;
I will serve ’em by the postman, or I’ll leave ’em on your stairs.

When you get down to your table with your head a vacuum,
You can say unto your helpmeet, “Has that quart of ideas come
That we ordered served here daily from that plot-man down the street?”
And you’ll find that I’ve been early my engagement to complete.

Should you want a book of poems that will bring you into fame,
Let me send a sample packet that will guarantee the same,
Holding “Seeds of Thought from Byron, Herrick, Chaucer, Tennyson.”
Plant ’em deep, and keep ’em watered, and you’ll find the deed is done.

I’ve a hundred comic packets that would make a Twain of Job;
I have “Seeds of Tales Narcotic; Tales of Surgeons and the Probe.”
I’ve a most superb assortment, on the very cheapest terms,
Done up carefully in tin-foil, of my A 1 “Trilby Germs.”

So perchance if you’re ambitious in a literary line,
Be as dull as e’er you can be, you will surely cut a shine,
If you’ll only take advantage of this opportunity,
When you’re passing by to stop in for a little chat with me.

You may ask me, in conclusion, why I do not seek myself
All the laurel and the glory of these seeds I sell for pelf.
I will tell you, though the confidence I can’t deny is rash,
I’m a trifle long on laurels, and a little short of cash.