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Our Family Genealogy Pages

Bernard Poems

These poems were contained in an appendix of a book put together by Guy F. Bernard, 2233 Magazine Street. I have included them here separate from the web page of the first part of the book.

Some of the people referenced in these pages:
Gerard Henry Bernard
Guy Frances Bernard
Cunigunda Amelie Bernard
Marie Amelie Frances Bernard
Guy Frances Bernard

List of Poems

2233 MAGAZINE STREET (by Gerard)
TO GUY (by Louis)
CUNIGUNDA (by Gerard)
LOUIS' GLOVE (by Gerard)
THE SNAIL (by Gerard)
TO GERARD (by Louis)
AMELIE (by Louis)
LOUI-ZA (by Gerard)
DREAMING (by Gerard)
(by Louis)
CAROLINE (by Gerard)
JIM BLUDSO (by John Hay)


(by Gerard)

There's a house on Magazine Street
And it once was painted gray,
But the gentleman who did the job
Has long since passed away.

This house, which long ago was placed
In the center of the yard,
Doth shelter there a family great
Whose last name is Bernard.

The house is said by some to be
The oldest in the nation ---
It looks as though 'twere built before
The Lord began Creation.

The family lives inside the house
And seldom has much trouble,
That is, except with two old maids
Whose family name is Grubble.

In years gone by this house has held
More than it does to-day.
Six years ago a man was there
Whose name is Ed Barre.

Nor was this all. We once had here
A maiden thin and narrow.
Her daughter too stayed with her,
And her name was Miss O'Hara.

Her daughter had a birdie,
Which accidentally died;
The cage fell out the window
And smashed the bird inside.

She asked us please to bury it
Nearby the place it died,
And as we gaily planted it,
The poor old maiden cried.

But I have mentioned Ed Barre --
Now listen what he did.
He scarce was married fourteen months
When Lo! --- there was a kid.

This was not all. For two years passed
And then another came.
Two years again, and goodness me!
A third one did the same.

The house was packed so full that we
Could scarcely turn around,
So Edward looked about the town
Until a house he found.

When Edward had attained success
In this sad occupation
He moved, and then our domicile
Decreased in population.

So far, you've heard of Edward,
And heard that he was wed.
I'll now speak of the lady
That married Uncle Ed.

She's very short in stature;
Victoria's her name,
And ever since she married Ed,
On him she's put the blame.

With these two dwelleth Mary,
A maid of ancient days,
Who is quite funny in her dress
And also in her ways.

The first one of the family
Is Amelie Barre;
She's very thin, and when she's mad
She hasn't much to say.

Pierre Barre is number two,
His skin is dark and brown.
His head is pointy on the top--
Not made to wear a crown.

Alphonsus dear is number three,
A melancholy lad,
Who always seems so sad and blue,
No one could make him glad.

Don't be impatient, good my friend,
The end is drawing near.
The fourth and last is wondrous small --
She calls herself Elmire.

These eight were queer, you'll say, no doubt,
Put now you'll ope your eyes.
We had a maiden queere still.
Her name was Carrie Dies.

Dear Caroline could not keep still;
Incessantly she talked,
Until Mama invited her
To go; and out she walked.

When she went off, a friend of hers
Wept long and hard with tears.
So Tillie to the convent went,
To finish up her years.

But woe is not the only thing
By which one disappears.
We have from Cupid's darts sustained
Two losses in two years.

The first one came in 1912
When Elizabeth and Fred
Agreed upon the Fifth of June
To go to church and wed.

They wed, and got upon a boat.
Our tears were falling hard,
But when the boat got to New York,
They sent us each a card.

They went to see Niagara Falls
And through Chicago passed.
They went to Memphis, Tennessee,
And then came home at last.

Then Freddie worked and Lizzie loafed,
Both happy as could be,
Until when March the Tenth came by,
Their family numbered three.

They gave the name Elizabeth
To the little child so cute.
We found it more convenient, though,
To call the kid just "Zoot".

Our brother Edgar went to church
And saw a pretty maid.
He boldly introduced himself,
Though very much afraid.

She told him she worked in a store,
'Twas the Exclusive Shop.
On her car every morning bright,
Ed gracefully would hop.

Each night they went out for a walk,
And looked at furniture,
But never bought a single piece,
Because they were too poor.

But lastly, after much ado,
As the Ouija board had said,
On the happy Sixth of August morn,
This foolish pair were wed.

Then Edgar took his little bride
To the land of little rain,
To the little town of Orange,
On a far off Texas plain.

These are the ones departed,
The ones that went away.
We'll tell you now of those that in
The gloomy house still stay.

Dear Frankie is a drummer --
He drums upon the road.
He only shows up once a week,
And never pays his board.

Jeanne is a funny creature,
Who has not many beaus,
Put tries to make one for herself
Of every youth she knows.

Her friends have names like Ben, and Scott,
Montgomery, and Joe Wynn,
Like Hoover, Hoy, Mc Shane, and Spreen.
The last is very thin.

They'll not let girls to convent go
Of twenty years or under;
That' why we still have in our house
Our darling Cunigunda.

Our sister third is Amelie,
Who liketh John Mc Shane,
And Claude, and George, and Maurice, too.
She has but little brain.

But the greatest of this noble crowd
Is the great Gerard Bernard.
The ladies powder up their face
When he sends in his card.

Between Clemonce and Eleonore
Is great disparity.
We'll say no more, but hide his faults
With wondrous charity.

Small Louis is the smallest thing
In this, our mighty city.
He's only half the size of his
Sweet sweetheart, pretty Diddie.

Elizabeth Frances Theresa May,
With the doll house in her yard,
Tr after years will be the wife
Of Mr. Guy Bernard.

As dessert always seems most good
When all the meal is past,
So have we in this little poem
Reserved the best for last.

Two remnants of a former age
Remain with us to-day.
One sews up skirts; the other tries
To eat and cook and play.

Piss Frances went to Theriot
And there she tried to cook
She hadn't been there very long
When she received the hook.

Aunt Josie is peculiar too,
And very like her friend.
Each day she tries a man to catch,
And hopes until the end.

She'd willingly take anyone,
And work from night to morn.
It seems to me she would prefer
A youngster they call John.

You've heard of the O'Haras,
Of Ed, and Caroline,
Of Vickie and her children
And I know you think it's fine.

You've heard about the Bernard tribe.
Of weddings, too, I've sang;
I've told you how our dear old aunts
Are always getting stung.

There's one thing more that I must say
To do this job up clean;
And that thing is a word or two
About the tall Christine.

She is a valued souvenir
Of prehistoric days.
She's quite affected in her walk,
And foolish in her ways.

The tale is told, the page is full.
Still stands the house of gray.
If naught occurs, it may endure
Like this for many a day.

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(By Louis)

There is a funny factory,
It hangs around all day;
It skates and it makes faces
In a funny kind of way.

This factory's name is Guy Bernard,
It's face is very red;
It has a girl named Florence
And it's funny in the head.

Guy Francis, he is also called;
He has another girl ---
Her name is Mary Frances,
And she doesn't wear a curl.

I've said 'bout Mary Frances,
And the other name, I think
Is Finney; and she stands a chance
Of marrying the Kink.

The factory has another girl --
Her name is Alma Groetsch;
She is quite funny in her face
And is shaped like a crutch.

We call the Kink "Face Factory"
And he gets very mad,
So Florence comforts this great king
Whenever he gets sad.

Methinks I have forgotten
To tell you all I know;
Sweet Florence is a pretty maid --
So thinks her funny beau.

Miss Florence stands the best chance
Of marrying the king,
Because he has presented her
With an engagement ring.

He often breaks his promises,
But he will not break this,
For every time he sees her,
He gives her a big kiss.

Guy likes Mary Frances, too,
But surely I don't see
A thing on her so nice and sweet ---
She's like a bumble bee.

Now Guy has a junkshop,
And Guy he has some glue,
And Guy he thinks he knows a girl
That Ge'd and I call Sue.

Now I must be on my way home
And get a cup of tea.
the next thing I will write to you
Will be about the Ge.

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(By Gerard)

O Cunigunda, maiden wise,
With sky-blue hair and purple eyes,
Your shoe is number thirty-four;
I've stood enough, I'll stand no more!

When I was talking to a girl
Whose tears run down her back,
You told my Papa I was bad --
To come give me a whack.

When Papa came into the hall,
O Lord, how I did run!
But when I come upstairs again,
I bet you'll see some fun.

I'll take a chair that's made of wood
And give you just one soak.
I'll only have to give you one,
for one will make you croak.

O Cunigunda, maiden fair,
With wondrous eyes and sky-blue hair,
I'll give you some advice:
Beware! Look out, watch sharp; beware!

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(By Gerard)

There was a boy named Louis
Who wished to play some ball.
Poor boy, he was quite skinny,
Although not very tail.

He saved up all his coppers,
His nickels, and his dimes,
And counted o'er them daily
A hundred thousand times,

Until he had two dollars,
And then with shouts of glee,
He took the two bones in his hand
And brought them both to me.

"Make this, and buy a glove" he said,
And wiped away a tear.
Alas! his hand was dirty,
And it made an ugly smear.

"Bring me a glove. I wish to play
Upon the third room scrubs,
And in a year or two, perhaps,
I'll play ball with the Cubs."

"I'm not a member of the team,
Not yet, that is to say,
Put when they see I have a glove,
Perhaps they'll let me play."

"And if I get but half a chance,
I'll teach them how to play!
He spoke and dropped another tear;
Then sadly turned away.

I brought him home a pretty glove,
'Twas yellow, brown and green.
He swore he'd always treat it well,
And try to keep it clean.

He swore if any rough-neck boy
That played ball in the lot
Should try to use his precious glove,
He'd give him something hot.

He greased his glove with olive oil
'Twas made of horse skin hide.
And when he went to school next day,
The glove was by his side.

The boys, assembled in the lot,
Prepared to start a game,
When Louis introduced himself,
And told them all his name.

When this was done, they said to him:
"We're pleased to meet you, sir!"
And then amongst themselves they said:
"What can we do with her?"

"I have a fine glove," Louis said,
They answered him: That's good;
Just hand it here, and you can play."
He heard, and understood.

"This is my glove!" he loudly cried,
"And with my glove I'll play!"
Put quickly they closed in on Lou,
And took his glove away.

He wept, and pleaded with the boys,
Put useless breath he spent,
And so at last, up Constance Street,
To Father Hiller went.

He opened wide the priest-house door,
And rang the little bell,
And brother James looked down at him
And softly whispered: "Well?"

"Jst send me Father Miller,
And send him to me quick!"
Bro' Jim called Father Miller,
And laughed 'till he was sick.

The Father listened to his tale;
When proudly raised his head.
And as he showed Louise the door
These words are what he said:

"I cannot help it; I do not care;
Immaterial it is to me.
The door is there; go use it, pray,
And departing, let me be."

This outburst of grandeur occasioned new tears
From the eyes of the poor weeping child,
Put as he ascended the steps to his room
Pere Miller complacently smiled.

The child, going homeward, went under the bed,
Until it was time to eat soup,
And his moans and his groans had a singular sound,
Like an infant afflicted with croup.

And he wept and lamented for three days and nights,
And cried himself into a fit;
But alas! no bewailing would alter the case,
Nevermore would he play with his mitt.

This tale has a moral, and all will agree,
'Twould be well if you learned it in time;
Never get pretty things that you cannot defend,
For so doing inviteth much crime.

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(By Gerard)

With a smile on his lips the snail passed by,
And the smile it was pleasant to see,
For it told that its wearer would soon be gone
To the park, with his sweet little Bee .

And up to the house where his sweetheart lived
Went the snail in his suit of brown,
And they boarded the car for the cool green park,
The happiest pair in town

For a time at the movies they gazed and smiled,
And rode on the merry-go-round;
And when later or they began to return,
Not a cent in their pockets they found.

And up from her velvet throat came a sob
As it gradually dawned upon Bee
That they'd have to walk home, and they'd not get to bed
Until after the clock had struck three.

And they walked all night long and were weeping,
Till at last they were safely in bed.
"And we'll never again be such fools as we were,"
Was the sentence that both of them said.

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(By Gerard)

There's a far-away look on a little boy's face,
And he's sleepy and dreamy all day;
And I know what's the matter, although he says no,
Some young lady has stolen his poor heart away.

He won't run around and play marbles and shout,
And he's even refused to play ball,
And all that he does when he goes in the yard,
Is to peep o'er the back garden wall.

There's a sweet little fairy that waits for him there,
Such a curly-headed, pretty young miss
That I'm sure when he's with her he constantly longs
To bestow on this angel a kiss.

Perhaps some bright evening he'll try to do this
When the sun shines and all is serene,
And the young lady's papa will come with a stick
And soak Miss Louise on the bean.

I suppose that he dreads this, and that's why he's blue,
For he surely likes Mary Louise;
And if it were not for its dreadful effects,
He'd surely say this on his knees:

"Little girl, come with me. To the river we'll go
And we'll sail to the opposite side,
And when we return, you'll be Mrs. Bernard,
For the judge there will make you my bride."

But if ever he'd do this, the poor boy, he knows
That he'd meet with a terrible fate
From the young lady's papa. So he wisely decided
That the best thing to do is to wait.

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(By Louis)

I can't do nothing, I cannot fight;
They always hop on me.
I can't do nothing, by day or night,
Or they will hop on me.

I can't do nothing, I cannot shout;
They always hop on me.
They always kick me round about,
And always hop on me.

I can't go out, I can't stay in;
They always hop on me.
I can't hit Guy beneath the chin,
Or they will hop on me.

I cannot sing, I cannot play;
They always hop on me.
I cannot paint, I can't go 'way,
Or they will hop on me.

I cannot say a word to Guy;
They always hop on me.
I can't gaze at the bright blue sky,
Or they will hop on me.

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(By Gerard)

You'd get beat up if you should fight;
That's why they hop on you.
You dread to go downstairs at night,
That's why they hop on you.

You sound like Satan when you shout;
That's why they hop on you.
You don't know what you talk about,
That's why they hop on you.

If you'd hit Guy beneath the chin,
They all would hop on you,
For he could cave your block-head in;
That's why they hop on you.

Whene'er you sing or try to play,
They're right to hop on you.
The neighbor say: "Let's go away."
That's why they hop on you.

Some people see bad with their eyes,
That's why they hop on you.
You are about a peanut's size;
That's why they hop on you.

If you should ring a little bell
They might not hop on you,
But as things are, they cannot tell
When they do hop on you.

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(By Louis)

Oh Geralding, the poet fin,
You get up every day at nine;
You talk so crazy like a fool,
I think you never went to school.

For how you talk, it sounds cra-zy;
And that's what people say to me;
They ask me if you are a fool,
And if you never went to school.

You sound just like a little mule
That I know very well,
And every time that you get up
You get another spell.

I think you should be in Jack-son,
Instead of on the street.
For everybody near can smell
Your ugly, dirty feet.

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( By Louis)

What hurtest thou, Oh Amelie?
You look just like a young Chinee;
You are a great big bone-head, too;
Your head contains potato stew.

Your husband's name is Chicken Rehm,
And maybe he can't shout and scream!
You had some baby chickens, nine,
You think that they are awful fine.

Your husband has a dirty face;
He says your dress is pretty lace;
Your dress is just some purple goods --
Your husband cuts and piles up wood.

Your husband goes to work at morn
And comes home late at night;
You wait for him with a rolling pin,
And then you have a fight.

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(By Gerard)

There is a girl named Loui-za,
His nose is very red.
He played foot-ball, and Rah-Rah-Rah!
They kicked him in the head.

They kicked a hole into his head;
The ball began to float;
The water it came out so fast,
We went home in a boat.

How Louis is not stupid,
Louise is not a fool;
He got a medal in his class
For coming late to school.

But in the water that came out
His brains were intermixed.
The levee board it got to work
And closed the hole with sticks.

But where the workers closed the hole
Some sand and mud remains,
And everyone must surely know
That that is Louis' brains.

So Louis can't help being bugs,
He can't help giving sass.
The foot-ball game caused all the row
By making that crevasse.

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(By Gerard)

The twilight fell on the beautiful scene.
She stood, with her hands in her lap,
And then when the night-birds were humming a tune,
Miss Jeanne was beginning to gap.

The handsome young maid had been dreaming
About all her sweethearts so fine,
And as she recalled their dear features
She blushed like a bowl full of wine.

The first one she thought of was William,
The one that they sometimes call Spreen;
He would make her a very nice husband
If he only would keep himself clean.

And then came a view of the ocean
With a ship in distress in the storm;
In the wireless room she is watching
The brave Mr. Pellingham's form.

And the scene moves along to Baronne Street,
And she sits in the House of the Lord,
And she listens to Joseph Wynn's singing,
And her blood is pulsating quite hard.

Then her thoughts take a ship to Savannah
Where resides a most wonderful boy,
For there's no one in all of creation
That can be compared with John Hoy.

Then quickly she goes to Chicago
(For Jeanne does not mind the expense),
For she gladly would part with a million
To see dear old Benedict Lenz.

And the last one she thinks of, I'll tell you,
If you promise you won't get too frisky ---
And laugh when you hear his cognomen ---
It's Mr. Awook-awak-a-wiskey.

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(By Gerard)

Who is it makes us home-made bread
From which we all get sick
And stay in bed for fourteen days?
It's Frances, every lick.

Who is it keeps us up at night
By coughing all the time?
Who could it be but Fanny great?
The peerless maid sublime.

Who is it gives her leaflets out
In rain and cold and wet,
And then comes home 'most fit to die?
It's Frances, you can bet.

Where do the little crackers go,
That give us such delight?
Where do they go? I'll answer you ---
In Frances, every night.

Why is it that Emile has grown
So thin, he's hard to see?
Poor man, he's worked himself to death
By selling Frances tea.

When Ma and Pa go out to walk,
Why feel we so the loss?
'Cause then a maiden named Francois
Imagines she's the boss.

Wouldst like to hear a number great,
Much longer than this page?
To hear it, all that's needed is
To ask Francois her age.

Who is it that in Theriot
The paving stones did make?
'Tis Frances. When she made them, though,
She thought that they were cake.

What made this hole right through the floor,
And pray, when did it break?
It broke when someone dropped a piece
Of Fanny's angel cake.

Why is it Edgar Daniel went
To Texas, rough and wild?
'Cause Fanny tried to marry him.
The poor maltreated child.

Why is it that I write this poem
So gloomy and so sad?
I write it with this point in view:
To make Aunt Fanny mad.

Why is it when she hears this poem
Her curses thrun things blue?
She does all this because she knows
Each word of it is true.

Why do I say that she tells lies?
You think there's nothing meaner?
I said once: "Is Emile your friend?"
She said: "My friend is Lena."

And this is why I say to you
That Fanny lied to me;
A leaner man than Emile Lehde
No one on earth could be.

What will we do when Frances goes
To be a Carmelite?
To pray all day, and weep and sing,
And dress herself in white?

Why we will worry, pine and cry,
Just like the weeping willow,
And have her picture painted on
A velvet sofa pillow.

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(By Gerard)

Yes, Susan is a pretty name,
And Nary is just right;
But I know a girl named Sarah
That puts them all to flight.

Wow Sarah she got married
When she was just eighteen;
Her husband's name was Patrick Wolfe
And his country's flag was green.

And Patrick was a workman,
And Patrick he laid bricks;
He went to work at eight o'clock
And got home after six.

Now Pat worked on a building
That was twelve stories high,
And Patrick was afraid to work
In a place so near the sky.

One day his spouse to market went
And bought some ginger cake,
And also spent a quarter
For a juicy pound of steak.

That day he fell off of the roof
And broke his Irish back;
They gathered him with a rake and spade
And put him in a sack.

Now Sarah put her juicy steak
In the refrigerator,
And when they brought her Patrick home
Was peeling a pertater.

When she beheld the pulverized
Remains of darling Pat,
The tears flowed down her scarlet cheek
As on a chair she sat.

To the ice-box weeping Sarah went
As though her heart would break,
And tearfully complaining, 'cause
She couldn't eat the steak.

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(By Gerard)

I have a tale to tell you,
And if you'll hear my song,
You'll find that if my story's short,
It will not keep you long.

My story has a subject
With features like crushed ice;
Her jaws work like an engine;
Her name is Carrie Dies.

She works in a glue factory
And packs up cigarettes,
And drags her nose along the ground
When she walks in the streets.

And Carrie she was holy
And Carrie said her prayers,
And Carrie never cursed except
When she fell down the stairs.

No one ever cooked like Carrie;
No one ever made such bread.
And there's no one can beat Carrie
Washing people when they're dead.

O Carrie could make coffee
And Carrie could make tea,
And Carrie could make soup that looked
Like water from the sea.

Sweet Caroline would not drink tea ---
She never ate a cracker;
You never caught her chewing gum --
She only chewed tobacco.

Now Carrie is a suffragette,
And Carrie wants to vote;
And Carrie wears a purple hat
And thinks that she's a spote.

No matter how much talk she'd give,
Miss Dies would not get sick;
A show case back on Dryades Street
She busted with a brick.

The wagon cane and got her,
And her face it turned quite pale,
And now you'll find Miss Caroline
Locked up quite safe in jail.

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(By Gerard)

Well no, I can't tell what they cost,
Because they were stolen, you see;
Aunt Prances, she ain't got the habit
Of paying, like you and like me.
Where have you been for the last few days
That you haven't heard folks talk,
How Frances' glasses jump up and down
Whenever she tries to walk?

She's not a beauty; those Irishmen
Are pretty much all the same;
One eye purple, the other pink,
And a nose --- well, who's to blame?
A careless girl in her dress was she
With her hair straight back from her brow --
But never has Frances winked at a boy;
I reckon she never knowed how.

And this was all the work she did:
To treat her stomach well,
To put green flowers on her lid,
And have cologne to smell.
And if ever she got on a street car
Full of boys so happy and sweet,
She swore she'd stand on the platform,
And let the young men have her seat.

All girls have their day in New Orleans,
And her day came at last.
Deep wrinkles formed on her rosy cheeks,
And her hair was fallings fast.
Her eyes began to grow quite dim;
She could scarcely recognize me.
And at last my aunt was expelled from
The Young Ladies' Sodality.

They grabbed my aunt around the neck
And turned her out in the night,
And they threw her hat and umbrella
In the hall that leads to the right.
There was yelling and cursing, but she yelled out
Over all the infernal roar:
"I won't come back, you dirty things!"
Before they closed the door.

Through the hot, black breath of a summer day
To Kirby's Frances went,
And for a pair of spectacles
A hard earned dime she spent.
And sure as you're born, my aunt got off
When the sales-girl turned away,
And went to church to thank the Lord
That she didn't have to pay.

She's not a beauty, but Frances looks
A hundred times younger to-day
When she wears her famous spectacles,
For which she didn't pay.
She saw her need a dead sure thing,
And went for it there and then;
And now the law won't be too hard
When she tries to flirt with men.

(The above poem is a paraphrase of the following one, which Papa often recited to audiences.)


(By John Hay)

Wall no I can't tell where he lives
Because he don't live, you see;
Leastways, he's got out the habit
Of livin' like you and like me.
Where have you been for the last three years,
That you haven't heard folks tell
How Jimmy Bludso passed in his checks
The night of the "Prairie Belle"?

He weren't no saint --- them engineers
Is pretty much all alike ---
One wife in Natchez-under-the-Hill,
And another here, in Pike.
A careless man in his talk was Jim,
And an awkward man in a row ---
But he never pinked, and he never lied,
I reckon he never knowed how.

And this wee all the religion he had --
To treat his engine well;
Never be passed on the river;
To mind the pilot's bell.
And if ever the Prairie Belle took fire,
A thousand times he swore,
He'd hold her nozzle against the bank
Till the last soul got ashore.

All boats has their day on the Mississippi,
And her day came at last ---
The Movastar was a better boat,
But the Belle, she would not be passed.
And so came tarin' along that night,
The oldest craft on the line,
With a nigger squat on her safety-valve,
and her furnaces crammed, rosin and pine.

but fire bust out as she cleared the bar,
And burnt a hole in the night,
And crick as a flash she turned and made
For the wilier bank on the right.
There was runnin' and cursin' but Jim yelled out
Over all the infernal roar:
"I'll hold her nozzle against the bank
till the last galoot's ashore!"

Through the hot, black breath of the burnin' boat
Jim Bludso's voice was heard,
And they all had trust in his cussedness,
And knowed he would keep his word.
And sure as you're born, they all got off
Afore the smoke-stacks fell,
And Bludso's ghost went up alone
In the smoke of the Prairie Belle.

He wasn't no saint --- but at judgement
I'd run my chance with Jim,
Long aide of some pious gentlemen
That wouldn't shook hands with him.
He'd seen his duty a dead sure thing,
And went for it there and then;
And Christ ain't a-going to be too hard
On a man that died for men.

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