Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose;
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.
So the Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning;
While Chief-justice Ear sat to balance the laws,
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning.
"In behalf of the Nose, it will quickly appear,
And your lordship," he said, "will undoubtedly find,
That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear,—
Which amount to possession time out of mind."
Then holding the spectacles up to the court,—
"Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle
As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,
Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle.
"Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
('T is a case that has happened, and may be again)
That the visage or countenance had not a Nose,
Pray who would or who could wear spectacles then?
"On the whole it appears, and my argument shows,
With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose,
And the Nose was as plainly intended for them."
Then, shifting his side, as a lawyer knows how,
He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes;
But what were his arguments few people know,
For the court did not think they were equally wise.
So his lordship decreed, with a grave, solemn tone,
Decisive and clear, without one if or but,—
That whenever the Nose put his spectacles on,
By daylight or candle-light, Eyes should be shut.