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Augustin S. Macdonald, comp. A Collection of Verse by California Poets. 1914.

By Wallace Irwin

To the Average Man

THE AVERAGE MAN wears the average clothes

And the average hat on his head;

He eats at a table and sits on a chair

And (normally) sleeps on a bed;

For he scorns the eccentric, and never would dare

To sleep on a table or eat on a chair.

The Average Man seeks the corner saloon

Omeric refreshment to find;

But, shunning the tipple, he wanders to church

Where he is devoutly inclined—

Nor does he expect to find whiskey or dice

In the place that is famed for religious advice.

The Average Man says the average things

And sings just the average songs;

He’s deucedly fond of the Average Girl,

For whom he unceasingly longs—

And his vices and virtues, too many to tell,

Are oddly at odds—but they average well.

Statistics declare that the Average Man

Finds the Average Woman and mates;

That the Average Family, children all told,

Is something like two and three-eighths.

(Though fractional children disturb and appal,

The Average Man isn’t worried at all.)

The Average Man reads the average books,

And sometimes he writes ’em, I hear;

He’s neither a genius, a knave, nor a fool,

In fact he despises the queer;

For if he departed the Average Plan

He’d cease to be known as the Average Man.

But deep in the breast of the Average Man

The passions of ages are swirled,

And the loves and the hates of the Average Man

Are old as the heart of the world—

For the thought of the Race, as we live and we die,

Is in keeping the Man and the Average high.