Tall, and stout, and solid-looking,
Yet a wreck;
None would think Death’s finger’s hooking
Him from deck.
Cause of half the fun that’s started
Isn’t like a broken-hearted,
Walking-coat from tail to throat is
Frayed and greened
Like a man whose other coat is
Gone for ever round the edging
Waistcoat pockets frayed with dredging
After ‘sprats’ no longer there.
Wearing summer boots in June, or
Slippers worn and old
Like a man whose other shoon are
Pants? They’re far from being recent
But, perhaps, I’d better not
Says they are the only decent
Pair he’s got.
And his hat, I am afraid, is
Past all lifting to the ladies
By the brim.
But, although he’d hardly strike a
Girl, would Dan,
Yet he wears his wreckage like a
Once no matter how the rest dressed
Up or down
Once, they say, he was the best-dressed
Man in town.
Must have been before I knew him
Now you’d scarcely care to meet
And be noticed talking to him
In the street.
Drink the cause, and dissipation,
That is clear
Maybe friend or kind relation
Cause of beer.
And the talking fool, who never
Reads or thinks,
Says, from hearsay: ‘Yes, he’s clever;
But, you know, he drinks.’
Been an actor and a writer
Reckoned now the best reciter
In his line.
Takes the stage at times, and fills it
‘Princess May’ or ‘Waterloo’.
Raise a sneer! his first line kills it,
‘Brings ’em’, too.
Where he lives, or how, or wherefore
No one knows;
Lost his real friends, and therefore
Lost his foes.
Had, no doubt, his own romances
Met his fate;
Tortured, doubtless, by the chances
And the luck that comes too late.
Now and then his boots are polished,
And the worst grease stains abolished
By ammonia or benzine:
Hints of some attempt to shove him
From the taps,
Or of someone left to love him
After all, he is a grafter,
Earns his cheer
Keeps the room in roars of laughter
When he gets outside a beer.
Yarns that would fall flat from others
He can tell;
How he spent his ‘stuff’, my brothers,
You know well.
Manner puts a man in mind of
Old club balls and evening dress,
Ugly with a handsome kind of
. . . . .
One of those we say of often,
While hearts swell,
Standing sadly by the coffin:
‘He looks well.’
. . . . .
We may be so goes a rumour
Bad as Dan;
But we may not have the humour
Of the man;
Nor the sight well, deem it blindness,
As the general public do
And the love of human kindness,
Or the GRIT to see it through!