For those who have forgotten this grade-school staple which first appeared in the San Francisco Examiner in 1888, here are some early couplets which epitomize the style: ""A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest/ Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast""; and "". . . So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,/ For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat."" Tripp fans might be amused by the exaggerated and expressive postures of his animal cast--among them an out-for-blood feline pitcher. a pig of an umpire, and a brawny, overconfident bear as Casey. The rest of us, unimpressed by the hammy performance, are left wondering what picture-book audiences will make of Thayer's mock-grandiose lines.