The Breitmann Ballads

Breitmann in Politics

3. - Mr. Twine Explains Being “Sound Upon the Goose.”

Charles G. Leland

DERE in his crate corved oaken shtuhl der Breitemann sot he:
He lookt shoost like de shiant in de Kinder hishdorie:
Und pefore him, on de tische, was—vhere man alfays foundt it—
Dwelf inches of good lager, mit a Bömisch glass around it.

De foorst vordt dat der Breitmann spoke he maked no sbeech or sign!
De nexd remark vas “Zapfet aus!”—de dird vas, “Schenket ein!
Vhen in commed liddle Gottlieb und Trina mit a shtock
Of allerbest Markgraefler wein—dazu dwelf glaeser Bock.

Denn Mishder Twine deglare dat he vas happy to denounce
Dat as Coptain Breitmann suited oos egsockdly do an ounce,
He vas ged de nomination, and need nod more eckshblain:
Der Breitmann dink in silence, and denn roar aloudt, CHAMPAGNE!

Denn Mishder Twine, while drinkin’ wein, mitwhiles vent on do say,
Dat long instruckdions in dis age vere nod de dime of tay;
Und de only ding der Breitmann need to pe of any use
Vas shoost to dell to efery man he’s soundt oopon der coose.

Und ash dis liddle frase berhops vas nod do oos bekannt,
He dakes de liberdy do make dat ve shall oonder-shtand,
And vouldt dell a liddle shdory vitch dook blace pefore de wars:
Here der Breitmann nod to Trina, und she bass aroundt cigars.

“Id ish a longe dime, now here, in Bennsylfanien’s Shtate,
All in der down of Horrisburg dere rosed a vierce depate,
‘Tween vamilies mit cooses, und dose vhere none vere foundt—
If cooses might, by common law, go squanderin’ aroundt?

“Dose who vere nod pe-gifted mit cooses, und vere poor,
All shvear de law forbid dis crime, py shings und cerdain sure;
But de coose-holders teklare a coose greadt liberdy tid need,
And to pen dem oop vas gruel, und a mosdt oon-Christian teed.

“Und denn anoder barty idself tid soon refeal,
Of arisdograts who kepd no coose, pecause ’twas nod shendeel:
Tey tid not vish de splodderin’ keese shouldt on deir pafemends bass,
So dey shoined de anti-coosers, or de oonder lower glass!”

Here Breitmann led his shdeam out: “Dis shdory goes to show
Dat in poledicks, ash lager, virtus in medio.
De drecks ish ad de pottom—de skoom floads high inteed;
Boot das bier ish in de mittle, says an goot old Sharman lied.

“Und shoost apout elegdion-dimes de scoom und drecks, ve see,
Have a pully Wahl-verwandtschaft, or election-sympathie.”
“Dis is very vine,” says Mishder Twine, “Vot here you indrotuce:
Mit your bermission I’ll grack on mit my shdory of de coose.

“A gandertate for sheriff de coose-beholders run
Who shvear de coose de noblest dings vot valk peneat’ de sun;
For de cooses safe de Capidol in Rome long dimes ago,
Und Horrisburg need safin’ mighty pad, ash all do know.

“Acainsd dis mighdy Coose-man anoder veller rose,
Who keepedt himself ungommon shtill vhen oders came to plows;
Und if any ask how ’twas he shtoodt, his friendts wouldt vink so loose,
Und vhisper ash dey dapped deir nose: ‘He’s soundt oopon de coose!’

“’He’s O.K. oopon de soobject: shoost pet your pile on dat:
On dis bartik’ler quesdion he indends to coot it fat.’
So de veller cot elegded pefore de beople foundt
On vhitch site of der coose it vas he shtick so awful soundt.

“Und efer in America, hencevorwart from dat day,
Ash mit de Native Mericans, de fashion vas to say—
Likes well in de Kansas droples—de shap who tid not refuse
To go mit beoples ash vanted him, vas soundt oopon der coose.

“Dis shdory’s all I hafe to dell,” says Mishder Hiram Twine;
“Und I advise Herr Breitmann shoost to vight id on dis line.”
De volk who of dese boledics would oder shapders read,
Moost waiten for de segondt pardt of dis here Breitmann’s Lied.

The Breitmann Ballads - Contents | Glossary

Back    |    Words Home    |    Charles G. Leland Home    |    Site Info.    |    Feedback