But “the Peach crops come and go,” as Mr. George Ade so eloquently observes. We must not take our hero’s gloomy threats too seriously. There are other babies on the bunch, and no doubt he is, long ere this, consoled with a “neater, sweeter maiden” to whom his Muse will sing again a happier refrain. In this hope we close his dainty introspections and await his next burst of song!
San Francisco, Nov. 1, 1901
[*] Note, for instance, the potential mood used indicatively in the current colloquial, “Wouldn’t that jar you!”
Let me down easy, reader, say!
Don’t run the bluff that you are on,
Or proudly scoff at every toff
Who rattles off a rag-time con.
Get next to how the French Villon,
Before Jack Hangman yanked him high,
Quilled slangy guff and Frenchy stuff
And kicked up rough the same as I.
And Byron, Herrick, Burns, forby,
Got gay with Erato, much the same
As I now do to show to you
The way into the Hall of Fame.
Wouldn’t it jar you, wouldn’t it make
To see the poet, when the goods play out,
Crawl off of poor old Pegasus and tout
His skate to two-step sonnets off galore?
Then, when the plug, a dead one, can no more
Shake rag-time than a biscuit, right about
The poem-butcher turns with gleeful shout
And sends a batch of sonnets to the store.
The sonnet is a very easy mark,
A James P. Dandy as a carry-all
For brain-fag wrecks who want to keep it dark
Just why their crop of thinks is running small.
On the low down, dear Maine, my looty loo,
That’s why I’ve cooked this batch of rhymes for you.
Say, will she treat me white, or throw me down,
Give me the glassy glare, or welcome hand,
Shovel me dirt, or treat me on the grand,
Knife me, or make me think I own the town?
Will she be on the level, do me brown,
Or will she jolt me lightly on the sand,
Leaving poor Willie froze to beat the band,
Limp as your grandma’s Mother Hubbard gown?
I do not know, nor do I give a whoop,
But this I know: if she is so inclined
She can come play with me on our back stoop,
Even in office hours, I do not mind —
In fact I know I’m nice and good and ready
To get an option on her as my steady.
On the dead level I am sore of heart,
For nifty Mame has frosted me complete,
Since ten o’clock, G. M., when on the street
I saw my lightning finish from the start.
O goo-goo eye, how glassy gazed thou art
To freeze my spinach solid when we meet,
And keep thy Willie on the anxious seat
Like a bum Dago on an apple cart!