MISS PALLAS EUDORA VON BLURKY
Who didn’t know chicken from turkey,
High Spanish and Greek
She could fluently speak.
But her knowledge of poultry was murky.
She could name the great-uncle of Moses,
The dates of the Wars of the Roses,
The reason of things.
Why the Indians wore rings
through their red aboriginal noses.
The meaning of Emerson’s “Brahma,”
Why Shakespeare was wrong in his grammar;
And she went chipping rocks
With a little black box.
And a small geological hammer.
She had views upon co-education.
And the principal needs of the Nation;
Her glasses were blue.
And the number she knew
Of the stars in each high constellation.
She expounded the use of bacilli.
And learnedly lectured on calci;
Her costume was mannish,
Her ways very clannish,
’Mongst the Cult and the ‘Varsity foci.
She wrote in a handwriting clerky.
And spoke with an emphasis jerky;
High German and Greek
She could fluently speak;
But—she didn’t know chicken from turkey.
“Highly Educated” (1893)