Illustrated by Benj. Franklin [not of Philadelphia]
Copyrighted 1922 by LEEDON PUBLISHING COMPANY
LEEDON PUBLISHING COMPANY 405 FLOOD BUILDING SAN FRANCISCO
THE RUBAIYAT OF OHOW DRYYAM
By J. L. DUFF
With Apologies to
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN [Not of Philadelphia]
The Rubaiyat of Ohow Dryyam
Wail! for the Law has scattered into flight Those Drinks that were our sometime dear Delight; And still the Morals-tinkers plot and plan New, sterner, stricter Statutes to indite.
After the phantom of our Freedom died Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried: "Drink coffee, Lads, for that is all that's left Since our Land of the Free is washed—and dried."
The Haigs indeed are gone, and on the Nose That bourgeoned once with color of the rose A deathly Pallor sits, while down the lane Where once strode Johnny Walker—Water goes.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Coffee-house We'll learn a new and temperate Carouse— The Bird of Time flies with a steadier wing But roosts with sleepless Eye—a Coffee Souse!
Each morn a thousand Recipes, you say— Yes, but where match the beer of Yesterday? And those Spring Months that used to bring the Bock Seem very long ago and far away.
A Book of Blue Laws underneath the Bough, A pot of Tea, a piece of Toast,—and Thou Beside me sighing in the Wilderness— Wilderness? It's Desert, Sister, now.
Some for a Sunday without Taint, and Some Sigh for Inebriate Paradise to come, While Moonshine takes the Cash (no Credit goes) And real old Stuff demands a Premium.
The Scanty Stock we set our hearts upon Still dwindles and declines until anon, Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face, It lights us for an hour and then—is gone.
Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears TODAY of past Regrets and future Fears— Tomorrow!—Why, Tomorrow I may be In Canada or Scotland or Algiers!
Yes, make the most of what we still may spend; The last Drop's lingering Taste may yet transcend Anticipation's Bliss—though we are left Sans Wine, Sans Song, Sans Singer, and—Sans End.
Alike for those who for the Drouth prepared And those who, like myself, more poorly fared, Fond Memory weaves Roseate Shrouds to dress Departed Spirits we have loved—and shared.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent The gilded Bar, and all my Lucre spent For bottled Joyousness, but evermore Came out less steadily than in I went.
The legal Finger writes; and having writ, Moves on—and neither Thirst nor Wit Has lured it back to cancel half a line To give a Man excuse for being lit.
And Bill the Bootlegger—the Infidel!— When He takes my last Cent for just a Smell Of Hooch, I wonder what Bootleggers buy One half so precious as the Stuff they sell.
Oh Bill, Who dost with White Mule and with Gin Beset the Road I am to Wander in, If I am garnered of the Law, wilt Thou, All piously, Impute my Fall to Sin?
Yon rising Moon that looks for us again— How oft hereafter will she wax and wane; But, Oh, how oft before we have beheld Six Moons arise—who now seek Two in vain.
And when Thyself at last shall come to trip Down that dim Dock where Charon loads his Ship, I'll meet Thee on the other Wharf if Thou Wilt promise to have Something on thy Hip.