A Psalm Of Montreal "O God! O Montreal!"
by Samuel Butler

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"O God! O Montreal!"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: A half-humorous dialogue between the poet and a man working in the Montreal Museum of Natural History, this short poem has as its message that a young city in a young country has little time for culture and no real acquaintance with it. A copy of a famous masterpiece of Greek sculpture, the Discobolus, is found abandoned in a side room, where a workman is busy stuffing an owl. When asked why the Discobolus has been neglected in storage, the man reveals his barbarity by saying that the statue is indecent, and that he is a person of station. The poet can comment only with a cry of despair, as the stuffer of owls explains:

"The Discobolus is put here because he is vulgar–
He has neither vest nor pants with which to cover his limbs;
I, Sir, am a person of most respectable connections–
My brother-in-law is haberdasher to Mr. Spurgeon."
O God! O Montreal!