Backblock Ballads and Later Verses


C.J. Dennis

OH, I’m sick o’ the whole darn human race,
    An’ I’m sick o’ this mundane ball;
I’m sick o’ the sight o’ me brother’s face,
    An’ his works an’ talk an’ all;
I’m sick o’ he silly sounds I hear,
    I’m sick o’ the sights I see;
Ole Omar K. he knew good cheer,
    An’ it’s much the same with me.

Gimme a bit o’ a bough to sit
    Beneath, an’ a book of rhyme,
An’ a cuddlemsome girl that sings a bit,
    But don’t sing all the time:
That’s all I ask, an’ it’s only just;
    For it’s all that I hold dear—
A bough an’ a book an’ a girl an’ a crust;
    That, an’ a jug o’ beer.

Then I’ll cuddle me girl an’ I’ll quaff me ale
    As we sit on the leafy floor;
An’ when the book an’ the beer jug fail,
    I’ll cuddle me girl some more.
For jugs give out an’ books get slow.
    But you can take my tip for square—
Tho’ the bough an’ the book an’ the beer jug go,
    The girl, she’s always there.

For I’m sick o’ the sight o’ me brother’s face,
    An’ the world’s a sight too slow;
An’ I’m sick o’ tryin’ to go the pace,
    When there ain’t no pace to go;
I’m sick o’ the “gilded halls of vice,”
    An’ I’m sick o’ the “sainted shrine,”
I’m sick o’ me own an’ me friends’ advice,
    An’ the gold that won’t be mine.

I’m sick o’ the sound o’ me fellow’s voice,
    I’m sick o’ his schemes an’ shams;
O’ trying to choose when there ain’t no choice,
    An’ of damin’ several dams;
So, gimme a girl that ain’t too slow,
    You can keep your book of rhyme,
An’ your bough an’ bread an’ your beer.    Wot O!
    An’ I’ll cuddle her all the time.

Backblock Ballads and Later Verses - Contents

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