The Bar-Room Patriot by C. J. Dennis

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Following Lord Kitchener's advice, a number of patriotic people have resolved to refrain from treating soldiers to intoxicating drinks.

Why, 'ow's she goin', Bill, ole sport?
   I thort I knoo your dile!
My oath!  You look the proper sort!
   That khaki soots your style.
I never 'eard you'd joined, yeh know --
It makes me feel I want to go.

Must be a year or more, I s'pose,
   Since last time we two met!
An' then, to see you in them clothes --
   Can't realise it yet!
I'm proud to think a friend o' mine
Is off to biff the German swine!

You look slap-up in that rig-out.
   We ort to celebrate --
I fell it's up to me to shout!
   But -- can't be done, ole mate!
For I 'ave took a solemn vow
I never shout for soldiers now.

No, Bill; you mustn't take offence;
   You'll undertsand, I think.
I've come to see there ain't no sense
   In buyin' soldiers drink.
I loves me country an' me king;
An' boozin' soldiers ain't the thing.

An' yet it's sich a time ago
   Since you an' me 'ave met,
It's sorter 'ard to let you go
   Without one little wet.
Say, come in 'ere, an' you can take 
A soft-un, jist fer ole time's sake.

Well, Bill -- 'ere Miss!  Don't you attend
   To customers in 'ere?
A lime-an'-soder fer me friend:
   And' mine's a long, cool beer.
Ah, Bill, you stick to that soft stuff;
Chuck booze, an' you'll be right enough.

Well, 'ere's a go!...My oath, that's goo!
   Bets beer I've 'ad to-day....
Yes, Bill, I 'olds no soldier should
   Drink all 'is brains away.
I'm patriotic, that I am;
To fight on beer ain't worth a damn.

Now, Bill, look 'ere, you take my tip --
   I know that German lot --
An', when you meet 'em, let 'er rip.
   An' prod 'em in the -- wot?
Well, jist one more.  Mine's beer thish time.
An' bill, ole frien', you shtick to lime.

'Ere's joy!...Wot was I sayin'?  Oh!
   Them Germans allush funk
The bay'nit.  Take my tip, an' go
   Fair for their stummicks -- plunk!
Jist stick 'em in the -- 'Ere, Miss, 'ere!
Give 'im the soft one!  Mine's the beer.

See, Miss, I don't booze sojers now.
   They shouldn't drink the stuff!
Me conshuns, Miss, it won't allow --
   'Right, Bill; don't cut up rough.
I'm proud to let the ole bar 'ear
I wouldn't buy no sojers beer.

I wouldn't buy no cursed drink
   Fer any fightin' bloke!
Wot?  Torkin' loud?  Well, do yeh think
   I'm 'shamed o' wot I shpoke?
I stansh on principle, by Gosh!
'Ere, 'ave anurrer lemin squash.

Oh, yesh; I've 'ad a few ter-day.
   Thish makes -- eighteen er so.
But I don't 'ave to go away
   To fight no rotten foe!
Go fer their stummichsk, Bill, ole man!
Jist prod 'em - why, 'ello!  'Ere's Dan!

'Ave one wi' ush, Dan.  Yoush a beer?
   Yes, mine'sh a -- wot-o, Jim!
Lesh innerjooce my cobber 'ere --
   I'm buyin' squash fer 'im.
'E's sojer....Took a solemn vow:
I don't -- (hic) -- shoush fer soljersh now.

I jist been tellin' soljer frien'
   Them Germans got no -- whash?
Orright, Dan: mine's a beer agen.
   Me friend 'ere'sh drinkin' sqauash.
Yeh mustn't buy no beer fer 'im --
Unpa'ri -- (hic) --.  Whash you think, Jim?

It 'urts me feelin's, all er same.
   Bill'sh 'listed!....Orful sad!....
Pore bill!  That fightin'sh rotten game.
   Go fer their stummicksh, lad!
Sharge wisher bay'nit, ev'ry time!
An' take my tip -- you shtick ter lime!

'Ere'sh to Aushtralier, ev'ry time!
   I doesh my lirrle bit
Be buyin' only squash 'n' lime
   To keep er soljersh fit.
Fine, pa'ri-otic effort.  Wot?
'Ere's to er blockesh wash gettin' shot!

Aw, I kin shtan' annurrer, Jim.
   Yesh, mine's a long, wet beer.
But don't you buy no beer fer 'im,
   'N' get 'im on 'is ear!
I never shoush fer sojersh now.
Unpari-pari -- sholum vow!

Wash sayin', Bill?  Wash 'at I 'ear?
   Yeh don't want me ter shout?
You been teeto'ler fer a year!
   Well, 'ash a fair knock-out!
You mean er shay...lemme buy lime,
Wile you....injoyed it all er time!

You mean er shay you thort it ni-esh
   To take yer ole pal in?
You lemme make self-sacrifi'esh,
   Wile you stan' there an' grin!
Wash?  Goin', is 'e?  Let 'im go!
Ni'esh sorter bloke ter fighter foe!

I wouldn't shoush fer sojersh now --
   Not fer a million poun'!
I bought 'im lemon-squash, ther cow,
   And then 'e takesh me down!
Go fer the'r stummiscksh?  'Im?  No fear!
Down wish er Kaiser!  Mine'sh a beer.

First published in The Bulletin, 11 March 1915

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 11, 2013 8:20 AM.

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