THE NORSK NIGHTINGALE
Being the Lyrics of a "Lumberyack"
WILLIAM F. KIRK
It is with a certain amount of misgiving that the author sends out this little volume of Scandinavian dialect verses. To the residents of Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, where the "lumberyack" lives and thrives, the dialect will seem familiar enough; but to other readers such terms as "skol" (shall or will), "ban" (been), "panga" (money), "sum" (than or as), may convey little or no meaning.
But, if the Scandinavian dialect verses are not widely popular, they are at least comparatively fresh and original; and to those readers who can readily grasp the patois, as well as to those who are compelled to struggle painfully through its labyrinths, this volume is respectfully dedicated.
Little Steena Yohnson
Sonnet on Stewed Prunes
A Good Fellow
"It's Up to You"
HIS HISTORICAL TALES
Horatius at the Bridge
The Courtship of Miles Standish
HIS POETICAL TRANSLATIONS
The Barefoot Boy
Abou Swen Anson
Stealing a Ride
"Curfew shall not Ring To-night"
A Psalm of Life
The Charge of the Light Brigade
The Day is Done
Dar ban a little faller, Ay tenk his name ban Yim, And nearly every morning Ay used to seeing him. He used to stand in gatevay, And call me Svede, and ay Ant lak to hear dis nickname: Ay ban a Norsk, yu say.
But he ban little faller, Ay tenk 'bout sax years old, And so ay used to lak him— He ban too small to scold. Ay used to say, "Val, Yimmie, Ay ant ban Svede, but yu Can call me Svede,—ay lak yu And ant care vat yu du."
By Yeorge! Ay'm glad, ay tal yu, Dat ay ban gude to him, Because one venter morning Ay ant see little Yim. And next day funeral vagon Com driving op to door, And Yim, poor little faller, Can't call me Svede no more!
Little Tillie Olson Ban my little pearl; God ant never making Any nicer girl. Dis har Qveen of Sheba, She ban nice to see; But little Tillie Olson Ban gude enuff for me.
Ay ban yust a svamper Vorking op in voods; Ay ant ever having Much of dis vorld's goods. Ay know lots of ladies Var ay used to be, But little Tillie Olson Ban gude enuff for me.
Over in Chicago 'Bout sax veeks ago, Torger Yohnson tak me Out to see nice show. Chorus girls ban dancing Purty fine, by yee; But little Tillie Olson Ban gude enuff for me.
Ven ve sit by fireplace Op at Tillie's house, She ban cuddling near me, Yust lak little mouse. After ve ban married, Happy ve skol be. Yas, little Tillie Olson Ban gude enuff for me.
"Roll out!" yell cookee "It ban morning," say he, "It ban daylight in svamps, all yu guys!" So out of varm bunk Ve skol falling kerplunk, And rubbing lak blazes our eyes. Breakfast, den hustle; dinner, den yump! Lumberyack faller ban yolly big chump.
"Eat qvick!" say the cook. "Oder fallers skol look For chance to get grub yust lak yu!" So under our yeans Ve pack planty beans, And Yim dandy buckvheat cakes, tu. Den out on the skidvay, vorking lak mule. Lumberyack faller ban yolly big fule.
"Vatch out!" foreman say. Den tree fall yure vay, And missing yure head 'bout an inch. Ef timber ban green, Ve skol rub kerosene On places var coss cut skol pinch. Sawing and chopping, freeze and den sveat. Lumberyack faller ban yackass, yu bet.
Ven long com the spring, Ve drenk and we sing; And calling town faller gude frend, He help us to blow Our whole venter's dough, But ant got no panga to lend. Drenk and headache, headache and drenk. Lumberyack faller ban sucker, ay tenk.
LITTLE STEENA YOHNSON
Ay ban tenking lots of yu, Little Steena Yohnson, Ay ban sure yu love me true, Little Steena Yohnson. Oder geezers lak to play In yure yard, but yu skol say, "Ay don't lak yu fallers, nay!" Little Steena Yohnson.
Some day yu skol be my vife, Little Steena Yohnson: Ay ban glad, yu bet yure life, Little Steena Yohnson. Ay ban vork lak nigger, tu, Yumping 'round vith treshing crew; Ay skol building home for yu, Little Steena Yohnson.
Maybe ve skol saving dough, Little Steena Yohnson; Back to Norvay ve skol go, Little Steena Yohnson— Back var dis har midnight sun Shining lak a son of a gun; Ant yu tenk dis har ban fun, Little Steena Yohnson?
Yust two years ago last venter Ay meet Olaf op in camp; Ve ban lumberyacks togedder. Every morning we skol tramp 'Bout sax miles yust after breakfast Till we come to big pine-trees; Den our straw boss he skol make us Vork lak little busy bees.
Olaf, he ban yolly faller, He skol taling yoke all day; Sometimes he sing dis har ragtime, Yust to passing time avay. And at night, ven we ban smoking After supper, he skol make All us lumberyacks to laughing Till our belts skol nearly break.
Me and Olaf bunked together, And sometimes he taling me 'Bout his vife and little Torger, Who ban living cross big sea. "Ay ban saving dough," say Olaf; "And next summer, ef ay can, Ay skol send for vife and baby; Den ay ban a happy man!"
One night Olaf getting letter Ven we coming back to camp; He yust tal me, "Little Torger," And his eyes ban gude and damp. Dis ban how ay know vy Olaf Never taling no more yoke,— Vy he yust sit down at night-time, Close by me, var he skol smoke.
Vy yu mak my heart to yump, Yennie dear? Ay ban yust a fulish chump, Yennie dear. Yu ban sveet lak summer rose, Lak a qveen from head to toes. Ay ant fit for you, ay s'pose, Yennie dear.
Yu ban gude the whole day long, Yennie dear; Yu ant never du no wrong, Yennie dear. Ay ban tuff old lumberyack, Taking drenk yust ven ay lak, Getting slugged and slugging back, Yennie dear.
But ven ay ban tenk of yu, Yennie dear, Ay ban all made over new, Yennie dear, Ef ay have yu at my side, Ef yu ban my little bride, Ay skol let dese fallers slide, Yennie dear.
Oh, ay need yu in my life, Yennie dear; Ef ay have an anyel vife, Yennie dear, Maybe ay can learn to be Part lak anyel, tu, yu see; But it ban big yob for me, Yennie dear.
"Peek-a-boo!" say little Olaf. "Yu can't find me. Ay ban hid." Den ay used to look all over For my little blue-eyed kid. Op in attic, down in cellar, Back of chairs on parlor floor; Den he used to laugh, and tal me, "Ay ban back of kitchen door."
"Peek-a-boo!" he used to tal me. "Shut yure eyes, and don't you peek!" Den ay feel his arms around me And his kisses on my cheek. "Now ay'm hiding, dad," he tal me! "Maybe, ef you look some more, Yu skol find yure little Olaf— Ay ban back of kitchen door."
"Peek-a-boo!" ay hear him calling, Lak he called long time ago. Var ban little Olaf hiding? Maybe anyel fallers know. Tousand times ay look to find him Hiding back of kitchen door, But ay only see some shadows: Ay can't find him any more.
SONNET ON STEWED PRUNES
Ay ant lak pie-plant pie so wery vell; Ven ay skol eat ice-cream, my yaws du ache; Ay ant much stuck on dis har yohnnie-cake Or crackers yust so dry sum peanut shell. And ven ay eat dried apples, ay skol svell Until ay tenk my belt skol nearly break; And dis har breakfast food, ay tenk, ban fake: Yim Dumps ban boosting it, so it skol sell. But ay tal yu, ef yu vant someteng fine, Someteng so sveet lak wery sveetest honey, Vith yuice dat taste about lak nice port vine, Only it ant cost hardly any money,— Ef yu vant someteng yust lak anyel fude, Yu try stewed prunes. By yiminy! dey ban gude.
A GOOD FELLOW
Dey tal me ay ban a gude faller. Ay guess dey ban right; but, yee whiz! Ef yu ever ban a gude faller, Yu know 'bout how costly it is. Ay vork op in voods since Nowember, And ban op on drive all the spring, And den ay com down har in city And vatch all my riches tak ving.
Oh, yes, ay ban yolly gude faller,— All venter ay eat pork and beans; Ay only ban har since last Monday, Now ay ant got cent in my yeans. Dese geezers dat call me "Old Stocking," And pat me lak hal on the back, Skol give me gude snub 'bout to-morrow, And calling me "slob lumberyack!"
Ay meet bunch of fallers last Monday, Yust after ay cashing my check; Ay s'pose dat ay have it all coming. Val, ay getting it gude, right in neck. Ay meet little blonde, her name's Yulia, Ay tenk dis har Yulia ban Yew; She touch me for 'bout saxty dollars, And little gold watch ay have, tu.
But Yulia she call me gude faller, Ay s'pose she tenk dat vill help some; And all of dem call me gude faller, And helping to put me on bum. Val, back to the pines, Maester Olaf, And driving yure old team of mules. Put dis in yure pipe, tu, and smoke it: Gude fallers ban mostly dam fules.
"IT'S UP TO YOU"
Ay s'pose yu tenk life ban hard game. Ay guess yu lak to qvit, perhaps. Ay hear yu say, "It ban a shame To see so many lucky chaps." Yu say, "Dese guys ban mostly yaps: Ay vish ay had some money, tu, And not get all dese gude hard raps." Val, Maester, it ban op to yu.
Sometimes ay s'pose yu vork long hours, And ant get wery fancy pay; Den yu can't buying stacks of flowers And feed yure girl in gude cafe, And drenk yin rickies and frappe. Oh, yes! dis mak yu purty blue. Yu lak to have more fun, yu say? Val, Maester, it ban op to yu.
Dis vorld ant got much room to spare For men vich make dis hard-luck cry,— 'Bout von square foot vile dey ban har, And six feet after dey skol die. Time "fugit,"—high-school vord for "fly"; And purty sune yure chance ban tru. So, ef yu lak to stack chips high, Val, Maester, it ban op to yu.
THE NORSK NIGHTINGALE
HIS HISTORICAL TALES
HORATIUS AT THE BRIDGE
Horatius ban brave yentleman, Who vatch big bridge at night: It ban gude many years ago, Ay ant got date yust right. Dar ban some foxy geezers Who march avay from home, And tenk they having qvite gude chance To raise some hal in Rome.
Lars Porsena ban starting it,— Ay tenk Lars ban a Svede; He raise 'bout tousand soldiers, And put himself in lead. Then he began tu marching, And all his frends march, tu, Till they skol come almost to Rome, Var dey skol rest a few.
Then op spake Maester Horatius, Captain of dis har gate: "To every yackass on dis earth Death coming sune or late. So how can ay die better Than vatching bridge, yu say? Now who skol standing on my front And vatching bridge vith me?"
Then Maester Laertus Larson, A scrapper fine ban he, Say, "Ay skol standing on yure back, But not on front, by yee!" And old Herminius Hermanson— He ban gude fighter, tu, Say, "Ay skol taking little smash At dese har Svedes vith yu!"
So ven dis Maester Porsena Ban come to big bridge gate, He sees three husky lumberyacks, And know he come tu late. But Lars, he ant ban qvitter, He send 'bout saxteen men To taking bridge,—by yiminy, Dey ant come back again!
While old Horatius and his frends Ban vatching bridge so gude, Some aldermen on oder shore Ban sawing planty vood. Ay tal yu, ven dese boodlers Ban start to tear tengs down, Dar ant no better vorkers Novere in whole dam town.
So ven dis bridge start falling, Horatius' frends yump back; And he skol stand alone dar— He ban brave lumberyack. Then he yump into Tiber, And say, "Ay skol svim home!" Dis har ban how Horatius Skol turn gude trick for Rome.
Dar ban a man named Villiam Tell Who ban a qvite gude shot. Ay bet yu, ven he tak nice aim, He alvays hit the spot. Ay s'pose he hunting every day And killing lots of game; Ef he ban missing such a chance, Ay tenk it ban a shame.
Some fallers yump on him von day, And taking him to yail, And tal him he skol have to pay Sax tousand dollars' bail. "Yeew hiz!" say Tell. "Sax tousand bones! Ay ant got saxty cents!" And so dey mak him breaking stones Behind big iron fence.
Den Olaf Gessler say to him: "Bill, yu ban qvite gude shot, So ay skol give yu yust von chance To vinning nice yack pot. Yure son ban purty brave young kid; Ay tell yu, on the dead, Yu skol go free ef you can shoot Dis apple off his head."
"Yerusalem!" say Bill, "ef you Skol give me drenk of bock, Ay bet yu ay can shoot dis fruit Off little Yimmie's block; But, ef ay shoot tu low, val, den Yust sidestep qvick, by heck, Or yu skol finding little bunch Of arrows in yure neck!"
So Olaf frame it op for Bill, And Bill he tak gude aim, And shoot at little Yimmie's block,— Ay tal yu, he ban game. And Bill skol knocking apple off, And Yim vent back to school; But Olaf put Bill back in yail, And tal him, "April fool!"
THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH
Miles Standish ban having a courtship Ven all of his fighting ban tru; Maester Longfaller tal me about it, And so ay skol tal it to yu. He say to his room-mate, Yohn Alden: "Yu know dis Priscilla, ay s'pose. Last veek, ven ay try to get busy, Priscilla yust turn op her nose."
Yohn Alden ban nervy young faller. So Standish yust tal him: "Old pal, Pleese boost me to dis har Priscilla, Yu know ay can't talk wery val. Pleese tal her ay ban a gude soldier, And say ay have money in bank. Ay'd du dis myself, but, ay tal yu, My manners in parlor ban rank."
So Yohn go and call on Priscilla, And happen to finding her in; He sit close beside her on sofa, And give her gude lots of his chin. "Miles Standish," he say, "ban gude faller, Hot stuff vith his pistol and knife; And so ay ban coming to tal yu He'd lak yu, Priscilla, for vife."
Priscilla, she listen to Alden, And den give him cute little venk, And say: "Vy not speak for yureself, Yohn? Miles Standish ban lobster, ay tenk." So Standish get double crossed planty; And dat's yust vat AY vant, by yee, Ef ever ay get any faller To doing my sparking for me!
Maester Robinson Crusoe ban lonely old faller Who ban on an island gude long time ago; His friends all ban lost in a yolly big shipwreck; But Robinson alvays ban lucky, yu know. He get on dis island, and can't get avay, "By yiminy," say Crusoe, "ay tenk ay skol stay!"
Von day some cannibals com to dis island, And brenging some frends just to make little stew. Dese frends dey ant lak to be made into cooking, And von faller dodge dis har cannibal crew. His name it ban Friday. He ban a gude coon, And Crusoe and he start to eat from same spoon.
Dey have lots of fun on dis har desert island, Dey play seven up and casino, ay tenk; And Crusoe put on a nice bar-tender's apron, And taught Maester Friday to mix a gude drenk. Dey get kind o' used to dis old desert isle, And get 'long togedder qvite gude for a vile.
But Friday ban coon, and yu know dese coon fallers Ban looking for tips yust so sharp sum dey can. So Friday yust tal Maester Robinson Crusoe, "Ay tenk, Maester Crusoe, yu ban a cheap man." Den he yump into ocean, and svim yust lak hal, And Robinson Crusoe ban losing his pal.
Yeorge Vashington ban honest man. Ven dis har country first began, Yeorge ban a yen'ral, and yu bet Dese English fallers know it yet. Ven he ban small, his fader say, "Ef yu skol breng in vood to-day, And feeding cow and chickens, tu, Ay skol yust blow myself on yu."
Val, sure enuff, ven Yeorge du chore, His fader hike for hardvare store, And buy gude hatchet, only it Ban second-hand a little bit. Dar ban on edge some little dents, It ban marked down to saxty cents. He pay sax cents to sharpen axe, And so it cost him saxty-sax. He tak it home to Yeorgie, tu, And say, "Ay ant ban fuling you."
Next day Yeorge tak dis hatchet out, And start to rubber all about For someteng he can chop, yu see, And den he pipe nice cherry-tree. "By Yudas! Dis ban soft!" say he. "Ef dis har axe ban any gude, Dis tree skol sune ban kindling vood." So Yeorge give cherry-tree gude whack, And sveng dis axe lak lumberyack; And yust ven tree ban falling down, His fader coming back from town. Yeorge see old yent ban standing dar, Smoking gude fifteen-cent cigar; And so he say: "Val, holy yee! Ay guess the yig ban op vith me. Dear fader, AY chopped down dis tree!"
Dar ban gude moral har for youth: Ven lie ban fulish, tal the truth!
Listen, Christina, and yu skol hear 'Bout midnight ride of Paul Revere. Seventeen hundred seventy-five, Hardly a geezer ban now alive Who live har ven Paul ban wolunteer.
Some British fallers ban getting gay, So Paul yust giving his horse some hay And say, "Ay skol mak a grand-stand play!" Den he tal Yohn Brenk,—Yohn ban his frend Who borrow venever Paul skol lend,— "Yohn, yust go up har in old church tower, And, yust so sune sum yu find out hour British skol march, give me good yal, And ay skol hustle and ride lak hal!"
So op in the church go old Yohn Brenk,— It ban first time in his life, ay tenk; And, ven dese English get busy, he yal, And vave big lantern to his gude pal, Maester Paul Revere, who yump on mare, And off for Lexington he skol tear. "Yee whiz!" he say, "after dis, ay guess, Ay skol getting my picture in Success. Dey skol tenk ay'm smart old son of a gun Ven I gallop into Lexington!"
Val, he mak dis ride, yu bet yure life! And fallers grab gun and drum and fife, And march to scrap vith dese British men. Maester Paul ban yolly brave hero den. And back in the church tower old Yohn Brenk Climb from his perch, and tak gude drenk. Val, dis ban all, Christina dear, 'Bout midnight ride of Paul Revere.
At Vaterloo dar ban a scrap Gude many year ago. Napolyun, he ban brave old chap And boss of whole French show. And Maester Vellington, he say, "Ay skol mak gude defence, And make dis Bonypart and Ney To look lak saxty cents."
Dey start to fight on Sunday morn; And preacher say to Nap: "Now, yust so sure sum yu ban born, Yu're going to fall in trap. Ef yu got any vork to du, Yust chuse some oder day." But Nap say, "To the voods vith yu! Mak dis bar bugle play!"
Ven Maester Vellington vake op, He see a gude big hill, Vith plenty soldier men on top,— Ay bet he got gude chill. "Yerusalem!" he tal his men, "Dese French ban purty t'ick. Ay tenk by qvarter after ten Dey skol feel gude and sick."
Den Yen'ral Blucher com along, And loading op his gun; And dis mak tengs look purty strong For Maester Vellington. Two heads ban more sum von, yu see; And Vellington, he say, "Yust keep yure Yerman gang vith me, And ve skol vinning day."
Den all his English soldiers scrap Vith guns so big sum trees; And Yermans fight vith lager tap And planty Brickstein cheese. And so, betveen the two, dey chase Dese Frenchmen to tall pines; And old Napolyun hide his face, And yumping back to mines.
Napolyun, he feels purty bum; And after vile he say, "Ef Maester Grouchy only com, Ve could have von to-day." But Grouchy ban asleep at svitch, So vat could Frenchman du? Dis har ban all the history vich Ay know 'bout Vaterloo.
Barbara Frietchie ban brave old hen, Her age it ban tree score and ten. She living in Frederick, Maryland,— It ban yust a dinky von night stand. But Barbara rise to fame, yu bet, And folks ban talking about her yet. Ef yu lak to know yust how dis ban, Ay skol tal yu story the best ay can.
Op the street com Yen-ral Yackson, Ay bet yu he ban a gude attraction; For all dese Reubs skol rubber lak hal, And some of dem calling the yen'ral "pal." Yackson, he see dem on both sides Shooting dis bunk to save deir hides. Den op in vindow he see big flag, And tenk at first he must have a yag. No: sure enuff, it ban Union Yack. So Stonevall stand on his horse's back, Yell at his men. Dey shoot, von and all, And into the gutter flag skol fall.
Den Barbara get pretty mad, yu bet, And say, "Ay skol fule dese geezers yet." She run to her bureau double haste, And, yerking out dandy peek-a-boo waist, Nail it to flagstaff, and vave it hard, And say: "Dis skol hold yu avile, old pard. Shoot, ef yu must, dis peek-a-boo, Ef it ant qvite holy enough for yu, And tak gude aim at dis old gray head, But spare yure country's flag!" she said.
Den Stonevall Yackson look purty cheap, And all his soldiers feel yust lak sheep. He say: "Dis lady skol standing pat. She ban game old party, ay tal yu dat. Who taking a shot at yon gray hair Skol get gude ticket for Golden Stair!"
All day long in Frederick town Soldiers ban marching op and down. And late dat night, ven dey leave on Soo, Dey see dis fluttering peek-a-boo. And Stonevall Yackson say, "Vat yu tenk!" And yerk out bottle and tak gude drenk.
Ef yu ban vise, and ay s'pose yu ban, Yu know 'bout Yeneral Sheridan; But maybe yu ant remember the day Ven he yump on horse, and den he say, "Ay'm yust about tventy-sax miles avay."
Some rebel fallers ban start big row In Vinchester. Ay ant know yust how, But ay tenk dey yump on some Yankee guys, And trying to give dem gude black eyes. So Yeneral Sheridan hear dese guns, And drank some coffee and eat some buns, And tal dis har landlord, "Gude-by, Yack, Ay skol paying my bill ven ay com back!" Den he ride so fast that sune he say, "Val, now ay ban saxteen miles avay!"
Dese cannons ban roaring gude and loud,— It ban tough game for dis Yankee crowd; And Lieut. Olson, he tal his pal, "'Ay tank we ban due to run lak hal!" So dey start to run, or else retreat,— Dis ban noder name for gude cold feet; And dey run so fast sum dey can go, Lak Russians luring dese Yaps, yu know. "Yee whiz!" say Sheridan. "Yump, old hoss! Ay tenk my soldiers get double cross, Ay s'pose yure hoofs getting purty sore, But we only got 'bout sax miles more!"
Val, Yeneral Sheridan meet his men, And he say: "It's now yust half-past ten. Ay hope ay skol never go to heaven Ef dese Rebel Svedes ant licked by eleven. Yust turn round now in yure track! Come on, yu fallers! Ve're going back!" And yu bet yure life dey vent back, tu, And put gude crimp in dis Rebel crew. But soldiers ban careless sons of guns, And the yeneral never settled for buns.
THE NORSK NIGHTINGALE
HIS POETICAL TRANSLATIONS
Speak yentle; it ban better far To rule by love dan fear; Ef yu speak rough, yu stand nice chance To get gude smash on ear.
Speak yentle to the coal-man—he Ban easy to get mad; Ef yu ant getting any coal, By yinger, dat ban bad!
Speak yentle to the alderman, Ven he ban feeling blue, And maybe, ven he turn gude trick. He skol whack op vith yu.
Speak yentle to yure lady frends, And give gude lots of bunk, Ef yu skol lak to getting chance To put yure clothes in trunk.
Speak yentle to Yim Yeffries, tu,— Ay tenk dis ban gude hunch; Den yu ant need to put yure face On Maester Yeffries' punch!
Speak yentle everyvere yu go, And people skol forget That yu ban vatching for gude chance Tu vinning every bet!
THE BAREFOOT BOY
Blessings on yu, little man! Barefoot boy, ay tenk yu can Getting all yu lak, by yee! Yu ban gude enuff for me. Yu ant got so many clo'es, Dar ban freckles on yure nose, And ay guess yu're purty tuff, 'Cause yu ask for chew of snuff. But, by yinks, ay lak yure face, Yu can passing any place.
Barefoot boy, ef ay could du Yenuine po'try lak the kind Maester Vittier wrote for yu, Ay vould write; but never mind, Ay can tal yu vat ay know, Even ef dese vords ant flow Half so slick sum poet's song. Anyhow, ay don't mean wrong. Ven ay see yu, little kid, Ay skol taking off my lid. Oder little boys ay see Ant look half so gude to me.
Some of dem ban rich men's boys, Who ban having planty toys, Vearing nicest clo'es in town, Lak dis little Buster Brown. Don't yu care! Ven dey grow up, And ban shining at pink tea, Drenking tea from china cup, Yu skol give dem loud tee-hee. Yu skol laugh at dis har mob Ven dey come to yu for yob. Barefoot boy, yu ant got cent; But ay tal yu dis, some day Yu got chance for president Ef dese woters com yure vay. Yust keep vistling all day long, Yust keep senging little song, And ef yu skol alvays love Some one who ban op above, Who ban making day and night, He skol fix yu out all right.
"Yu ban old, Fader Olaf," a young geezer say, "yure hair it ban whiter sum snow; Ay lak yu to tal me how yu keep so young. By Yudas! Ay ant hardly know."
"Ven ay ban a young kid," Fader Olaf he say, "ay never hang out in saloon; Ay never ban smoking dese har cigarettes, or sitting on sofa and spoon!"
"Yu ban slim, Fader Olaf," the young faller say: "old fallers ban mostly dam fat. Yu measure 'bout tventy-sax inches reund vaist, vat for ban the reason of dat?"
"In the days of my youth," Fader Olaf reply, "ay ant drenk no lager from cup; Ay let all my frends fight dis bourbon and rye, and alvays pass breakfast fude up!"
"Fader Olaf, yure eyes ban so bright sum a star, yu ant vear no glasses at all; Ay lak yu to tal me gude reason for dis; ay hope yu don't give me no stall."
"All the days of my life," Fader Olaf den say, "ay never ban going to shows, And straining my eyes vatching dese chorus girls vich ant veering wery much clo'es!"
Den young faller say, "Fader Olaf, ay tenk yu ban full of yinger, old pal; But yu had to be missing gude times all yure life, so ay skol keep on raising hal!"
ABOU SWEN ANSON
Abou Swen Anson (he ban yolly dog) Ban asleep von night so sound lak log, Ven all at vonce he tenk it sure ban day. "Ay skol vake op now," Maester Anson say. But, ven he vake, it ant ban day at all, He see a gude big light right close to vall, And dar ban anyel faller vith stub pen. "Gude morning, maester anyel man," say Swen. "Ay s'pose," he tal the anyel, "yu ban har To pay me wisit. Skol yu have cigar?" The anyel shake his head, and Abou Swen Ask him: "Val, Maester, vy yu com har den? Vat skol yu write in dis har book of gold?" The anyel say, "All fallers, young and old, Who go to church and prayer-meeting, tu; But ay ant got a place in har for yu." "Ay s'pose," say Abou, "yu got noder book For common lumberyacks vich never took Flyer at church or dis har Sunday-school, But yust try hard to keeping Golden Rule. Ef yu got dis book, Maester, put me in!" Den anyel look at Abou, and he grin. "Abou," he say, "shak hands. Yu talk qvite free But, yiminy Christmas, yu look gude to me!"
Maude Muller, on nice summer day, Raked in meadows sveet vith hay.
Her eyes ban sharp lak gude sharp knife; She ban nice girl, ay bet yure life.
Before she ban dar wery long, She start to senging little song.
The Yudge come riding down big hill In nice red yumping ottomobill.
Maude say, "Hello, Yudge,—how ban yu?" The Yudge say, "Maudie, how y' du?" He say: "Skol yu tak little ride? Ef yu skol lak to, yump inside."
So Maude and Yudge ride 'bout sax miles, And Yudge skol bask in Maude's sveet smiles.
The Yudge say, "Skol yu be my pal?" Den ottomobill bust all to hal.
Den Maude ban valking 'bout half vay Back to meadows sveet vith hay.
"Ay luv yu still, dear," say the Yudge, But Maude she only say, "O fudge!"
Of all sad vords dat men skol talk, The saddest ban, "Valk, yu sucker, valk!"
Ay s'pose yu know 'bout Lucy Gray Who used to play on moor, And having qvite gude time all day Beside her fader's door.
Dis Maester Vordsvorth write it down, Gude many years ago, How Lucy start to valk to town In gude big drifts of snow.
"Lucy," her fader say, "yust tak Dis lantern from the shelf." Say Lucy, "Ay have kick to mak; Vy don't yu go yureself?"
But Lucy's dad ant stand no talk, And say, "Yu have to go!" So Lucy Gray tak little valk To town in dis har snow.
Miss Lucy ant come back dat night, And ant come back next day; And den her parents get gude fright. "Our kid ban lost!" dey say.
Dey look for tracks vich Lucy mak, And find some tracks dat go Up to a bridge on little lake, And den ban lost in snow.
And so dey tenk Miss Gray ban lost, And feeling purty bum. The funeral saxty dollars cost, And all the neighbors com.
But Lucy ant ban lost at all. She met a travelling man. He ban a bird. His name ban Hall, And off for town dey ran.
And Maester Hall and Lucy Gray Ban married in St. Yo, And dey ban keeping house to-day In Kansas City, Mo.
STEALING A RIDE
Yumping over crossings, Bumping over svitches, Till ay tenk dis enyine Going to fall in ditches; Hiding vith some cattle, Ay tenk 'bout saxty-eight; Yiminy! Dis ban yolly,— Stealing ride on freight
Ay ban yust tru treshing Op in Nort Dakota; Now ay guess ay'm going Back to old Mansota. Now dis train ban stopping, 'Bout sax hours to vait; Yiminy! Dis ban yolly,— Stealing ride on freight.
Ay skol stretch a little Yust to tak a sleep; Den my head bump into Gude big fader sheep. Yee! His head ban harder Sum a china plate; Dis ban yolly doings,— Stealing ride on freight.
Yumping over crossings, Bumping over svitches, Till my side ban getting Saxty-seven stitches. Ay hear brakeman faller Say, "Yust ten hours late!" It ban hal, ay tal yu, Stealing ride on freight.
"CURFEW SHALL NOT RING TO-NIGHT"
England's sun ban slowly setting on big hilltops far avay; Dis bar sun ban tired of standing, so it lak to set, yu say; And yust ven dis sun ban setting, it shine hard on Yosephine; She ban talking to the sexton, and ban feeling purty mean. "Now," she tal him, "yust be careful,... ay skol fix it op all right; Yust one teng ay lak to tal yu, Curfew skol not reng to-night!"
Val, the sun yust keep on setting, and the sexton start for bell. "Vait a minute!" Yosie tal him; sexton answer, "Vat to 'ell?" "Val," she say, "ay having sveetheart who ban over har in yail, Ay ban vorking hard for money, nuff so ay can pay his bail; But it ant no use to du it, and dis har old yudge skol write That he dies ven bell start going. Curfew skol not reng to-night!"
Den, yu say, dis maester sexton, he can't hearing Yosephine; He ban vork in boiler factory ven he ban about saxteen, And it mak him deaf lak blazes. So he go and grabbing rope; But Miss Yosephine ant qvitter, she ant losing any hope. No, sir! she run op in bell tower, yust so fast sum she can run, And she tak gude hold on bell tongue, and hang on lak son of a gun.
Maester sexton, he keep renging, but dis bell ant reng, yu say; For Miss Yosephine ban op dar; she ant ban no country yay. Ay yust bet yu she get groggy, for her yob ban purty tough; But the bell don't "dingle dangle," it ant even making bluff. "Val, by yinger!" say the sexton, "dis har rope ban awful tight." Yosephine look down, and tal him, "Curfew skol not reng to-night!"
Purty soon it ban all over. Sexton, he ban start for town, And Miss Yosie rest a minute, den ay s'pose she coming down. Anyhow, she go next morning for gude talk vith some poleece, And she yolly Maester Cromwell—he ban Yustice of the Peace. "Gude for yu," say Maester Cromwell, "ay skol let him live, all right: Yust because yu fule dis sexton—curfew skol not reng to-night!"
A PSALM OF LIFE
Tal me not, yu knocking fallers, Life ban only empty dream; Dar ban planty fun, ay tal yu, Ef yu try Yohn Yohnson's scheme. Yohn ban yust a section foreman, Vorking hard vay up on Soo; He ban yust so glad in morning As ven all his vork ban tru.
"Vork," say Yohn, "ban vat yu mak it. Ef yu tenk yure vork ban hard, Yu skol having planty headaches,— Yes, yu bet yure life, old pard; But ay alvays yerk my coat off, Grab my shovel and my pick, And dis yob ant seem lak hard von Ef ay du it purty qvick."
Yohn ban foreman over fallers. He ant have to vork, yu see; But, yu bet, he ant no loafer, And he yust digs in, by yee! "Listen, Olaf," he skol tal me, "Making living ant no trick. And the hardest yob ban easy Ef yu only du it qvick!"
"Let us den be op and yumping, Always glad to plow tru drift; Ven our vork ban done, den let us Give some oder faller lift. Den, ay bet yu, old Saint Peter, He skol tenk ve're purty slick; Ve can go tru gates, ay bet yu, Ef ve only du it qvick!"
Minneapolis ban qvite bonny Ven early fall the dew; It ban dar dat ay ask Steena To mak her promise true,— To mak her promise true; But she yust pass me by; And she tal me, "Maester Olaf, Yu skol pleese lay down and die."
Her brow ban yust lak snowdrift Or Apple Blossom flour; And she smile lak anyel fallers, Ay tenk of her each hour,— Ay tenk of her each hour, And feel lak ay can cry, Ven she tal me, "Maester Olaf, Yu skol pleese lay down and die."
Like dew on sidevalk falling, She du me gude, ay guess. Ay tal her, "Pleese, Miss Steena, Vy don't yu answer yes?— Vy don't yu answer yes?" But she yust venk her eye, And she tal me, "Maester Olaf, Yu skol pleese lay down and die."
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
Yoyfully, yoyfully, Yoyfully onvard, In dis har walley of death Rode the sax hundred! It ban a cinch, ay tenk, Some geezer blundered. "Hustle, yu Light Brigade! Yump!" Maester Olson said; Den in the walley of death Go the sax hundred.
Cannon on right of dem, Cannon on left of dem, Cannon on top of dem, Wolleyed and t'undered; Smashed vith dis shot and shal, Dey ant do wery val; Most of dem ketching hal,— Nearly sax hundred!
Yes, all dem sabres bare Flash purty gude in air; Each faller feel his hair Standing. No vonder! Yudas! It ant ban yob For any coward slob, Fighting dis Russian mob. Ay tenk ay vudn't stand Yeneral's blunder.
Cannon on right of dem, Cannon on top of dem, Cannon behind dem, tu, Wolleyed and t'undered. Finally say Captain Brenk, "Ve got enuff, ay tenk, Let's go and getting drenk." 'Bout tventy-sax com back Out of sax hundred.
Ven skol deir glory fade? It ban gude charge dey made, Every von vondered. Every von feeling blue, 'Cause dey ban brave old crew, Yolly gude fallers, tu, Dis har sax hundred!
The shades of night ban falling fast, Ven tru Dakota willage passed Young faller who skol carry flag And yell, so loud sum he can brag, "Excelsior!"
Ay ant know yust vat he skol mean, But yust lak dis har talk machine He keep on saying, night and day (Ay s'pose to passing time avay), "Excelsior!"
Swen Swenson tal me dis har guy Ban crazy; den he tal me why. He say dis faller once ban gay And happy; den he never say "Excelsior!"
But after while, say Sven, he meet A chorus girl who look quite sveet, And marry her, and den find out Vat making her so plump and stout— "Excelsior!"
So now poor faller have to go, Lak lunatic, tru ice and snow. He tenk about his old girl May, And dis ban all vich he can say— "Excelsior!"
Vat for should dis spirit of mortal ban proud? Man valk round a minute, and talk purty loud; Den doctor ban coming, and say, "Ay can't save." And man have to tak running yump into grave.
To-day dis har faller ban svelling around, His head ban so light dat his feet ant touch ground. To-morrow he light vith his face in the sand, And hustle lak hal to get gude helping hand.
Ay see lots of fallers who tenk dey ban vise, Yu see dem yureself ef yu open yure eyes; Dey tal 'bout the gold dey skol making some day, And yump ven the vash-voman com for her pay.
Ay tal yu, dear frend, purty sune we ban dead, So ay tenk we ban suckers to getting svelled head. It ant wery far from Prince Albert to shroud; Vat for should dis spirit of mortal ban proud?
THE DAY IS DONE
The day ban done, and darkness Falling from vengs of night, Lak fedder flying from ruster, Ven he ban having fight. Ay see the lights of willage Shining tru rain and mist, And ay skol feel dam sleepy, Lak fallers playing whist.
Come, read tu me some werses, Ay ant care vat yu read, Yust so it ant 'bout trouble Or hearts vich ache and bleed. Ay lak dese har nice yingles 'Bout sun and trees and grass; But, ven it com to heartache, Yerusalem! ay skol pass!
Read from some humble geezer, Whose songs ban sveet to hear— Who making, from his poetry, 'Bout saxteen cents a year. Ay lak to hear his yingles, Ay tell yu, dey ban fine; Dis har ban vy ay lak dem— Dey ban so much lak mine.
Such songs have gude, nice sound— Dey making sorrow fly; Dey coming lak glass of seltzer Vich follows drenk of rye. And night skol be full of music, And tengs we lak to forget Skol fold op tents lak yipsies, And sneaking avay, yu bet!