Goody for Our Side and Your Side Too by Ogden Nash
Foreigners are people somewhere else, Natives are people at home; If the place youâ€™re at Is your habitat, Youâ€™re a foreigner, say in Rome. But the scales of Justice balance true, And tit leads into tat, So the man whoâ€™s at home When he stays in Rome Is abroad when heâ€™s where youâ€™re at.
When we leave the limits of the land in which Our birth certificates sat us, It does not mean Just a change of scene, But also a change of status. The Frenchman with his fetching beard, The Scot with his kilt and sporran, One moment he May a native be, And the next may find him foreign.
Thereâ€™s many a difference quickly found Between the different races, But the only essential Differential Is living different places. Yet such is the pride of prideful man, From Austrians to Australians, That wherever he is, He regards as his, And the natives there, as aliens.
Oh, Iâ€™ll be friends if youâ€™ll be friends, The foreigner tells the native, And weâ€™ll work together for our common ends Like a preposition and a dative. If our common ends seem mostly mine, Why not, you ignorant foreigner? And the native replies Contrariwise; And hence, my dears, the coroner.
So mind your manners when a native, please, And doubly when you visit And between us all A rapport may fall Ecstatically exquisite. One simple thought, if you have it pat, Will eliminate the coroner: You may be a native in your habitat, But to foreigners youâ€™re just a foreigner.