February 21, 2007

Washington's Birthday Eve

~q. shenaynay

We are big fans of George Washington here at the Beehive, and rather fond of Ogden Nash, too. And since my dear daddy shares his birthday with Washington (February 22), and since Nash is just about his favorite poet, it seems only fitting to post the following right this minute, before the clock tolls midnight.

As with so many of Nash's fantastically quirky poems, we find it helps to read this one with the voices of Rocky and Bulwinkle firmly fixed in your head. You could even let them alternate stanzas just to be fair about it and all.

Washington's Birthday Eve

George Washington was a gentleman,
A soldier and a scholar;
He crossed the Delaware with a boat,
The Potomac, with a dollar.
The British faced him full of joy,
And departed full of sorrow;
George Washington was a gentleman.
His birthday is tomorrow.

When approached by fellow patriots,
And asked for his opinion,
He spoke in accents clear and bold,
And, probably, Virginian.
His winter home at Valley Froge
Was underheated, rather.
He possessed a sturdy Roman nose,
And became his country's father.

His army was a hungry horde,
Ill-armed, worse-clad Colonials;
He was our leading President,
And discouraged ceremonials.
His portrait on our postage stamps,
It does him less than justice;
He was much respected by his wife,
The former Mrs. Custis.

He routed George's scarlet coats;
(Though oft by Congress hindered)
When they fortified the leeward side,
He slashed them from the windward.
He built and launched our Ship of State,
He brought it safe to harbor;
He wore no beard upon his chin,
Thanks to his faithful barber.

George Washington was a gentleman,
His birthday is tomorrow.
He filled his country's friends with joy,
His country's foes, with sorrow.
And so my dears, his grateful land
In robes of glory clad him.
George Washington was a gentleman.
I'm glad his parents had him.

~Ogden Nash


Terri said...


Lady Why said...

Ahh, our dad/husband's birthday is also shared with the honorable George... and now we see with the honorable Great Scot as well!! Happy Birthday, Great Scot!

Dani said...


Owl of the Desert said...

that was great!

Lynn Bruce said...

Lady Why, I was probably not clear on this... it was my father's birthday, not Great Scot's. Happy Birthday to your husband!

rachel tsunami said...

you just have to love Ogden Nash.
and George Washington.
and your daddy.