Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin munched a loaf of bread while walking down the street
And all the Philadelphia girls tee-heed to see him eat,
A country boy come up to town with eyes as big as saucers
At the ladies in their furbelows, the gempmun on their horses.

Ben Franklin wrote an almanac, a smile upon his lip,
It told you when to plant your corn and how to cure the pip,
But he salted it and seasoned it with proverbs sly and sage,
And the people read “Poor Richard” till Poor Richard was the rage.

Ben Franklin made a pretty kite and flew it in the air
To call upon a thunderstorm that happened to be there,
--And all our humming dynamos and our electric light
Go back to what Ben Franklin found, the day he flew his kite.

Ben Franklin was the sort of man that people like to see,
For he was very clever but as human as could be.
He had an eye for pretty girls, a palate for good wine,
And all the court of France were glad to ask him in to dine.

But it didn’t make him stuffy and he wasn’t spoiled by fame
But stayed Ben Franklin to the end, and Yankee as his name.
“He wrenched their might from tyrants and its lightning from the sky.”
And oh, when he saw pretty girls, he had a taking eye!

Stephen Vincent Benet
Poet, 1898-1943

Illustration by Mary MacArthur