Works in the Herald 1936
I could wish for a house like this (he said)
   For a home, to rest a while . . .
Thanks for the 'baccy, an' meat, an' bread;
   'Twill last me another ten mile . . .
But I sicken of miles that end in a camp
   An' a dreamin' of things I miss,
An' board and bed in the dark an' the damp,
An' the aimless life of a lonely tramp.
   I could wish for a house like this.

If I had a house like this (he said)
   An' a trifle of cash at call,
I'd be a king, with a roof o'erhead,
   An' me own hearth-fire an' all.
Why, if I had a house like this -- an' yet,
   Ere more than a month was o'er,
I'd maybe weary of stayin' set,
An' likely sell it for what I could get,
   An' take to the roads once more.

I'd paddle abroad on the same old beat
   With a fine, fat purse in me kick,
An' I'd come to a house that denied me meat
   When I'd begged for it, tired and sick.
There I'd plead an' I'd wait for the cold, hard stare,
   An' the prim, superior "No"!
Then I'd tell 'em off from the doorway there,
An' I'd sling 'em a couple o' bob for the fare
   When I'd tole 'em where they could go.

An' I'd tramp to every house (he said)
   Where out of a scanty fare,
Came a morsel o' meat or a bite o' bread --
   Such scraps as the poor may spare.
An' I'd nibble me crust or I'd sup me broth
   At the humble meal they'd spread;
Then I'd slip a bank-note under the cloth,
An' scuttle away to escape the wrath
   When they found what a crook they'd fed.

Herald, 19 March 1936, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002